Grab Ventures, Southeast Asian O2O giant Grab’s venture arm, announced today its first cohort of startups, following its launch of an accelerator program dubbed Velocity in June this year. This is the beginning of Grab’s push to support micro-entrepreneurs in the region.
At the press conference held in Singapore, Mr Chris Yeo, Head of Grab Ventures, talked about the uniqueness of Grab’s attempt at serving Southeast Asia’s startup community. Some of the ways include venture building (to build and launch new startups), making strategic investments into startups, and organising customised accelerator program to help growth-stage startups scale up.
Participating startups get to leverage on Grab’s extensive network in the region; receive Grab’s advice and guidance to scale up, in addition to access to Grab’s wide user community. Grab, on the other hand, is looking to venture into other verticals with all of these new additions of new cases in its bid to become the region’s super app.
Out of 500 applicants, 5 startups were chosen to embark on the scale-up journey, based on factors like the quality of the founding team, alignment of the startup’s culture with Grab, and the potential of growth in terms of traction, etc.
The 5 startups:
- An on-demand home cleaning services platform. (Helpling)
- An education technology platform (Tueetor)
- An online ticketing services platform where customers can make bookings for cinemas, events, and karaoke. (BookMyShow)
- A barber/saloon booking service platform for consumers (Minutes)
- A marketplace that provides both home improvement and maintenance services (Sejasa)
The startups’ Proof-of-Concept went live a few days ago and consumers now can access all of these new apps on Grab’s platform. The final pitch day will start in January next year and that’s where Grab will decide whether to invest in these startups or engage in other variety of partnerships.