Grab Ventures to commit $250m for Indonesian startups

This is on top of a US$700 million pledge in 2017, as part of Grab’s master plan for Indonesia.

Credit: Grab

Southeast Asian on-demand service juggernaut Grab pledges to invest US$250 million in Indonesian startups through its investment arm Grab Ventures, the firm announced today. That would make it one of the country’s largest startup funds.

This is part of the ‘Grab 4 Indonesia’ 2020 Master Plan’, for which the Singapore-headquartered firm had previously bookmarked a total of US$700 million. It wants to create more jobs in Indonesia, help the country enter the digital economy, and grow the tech industry. Its R&D Centre in Jakarta, Grab says, has hired more than 150 local engineers.

The company officially launched Grab Ventures in Singapore in June 2018, working with the city-state’s Economic Development Board and other government agencies.

Grab started off as a ride-hailing service, and has begun delving into other verticals including delivery and payments. It claims to have cornered 65% of the ride-hailing market in Indonesia, a country it said is “its largest market”. KrAsia has reached out to Grab’s local rival Go-Jek for comment.

How will Grab Ventures work with startups?

Through Grab Ventures, Grab will partner or invest in startups who want to solve mobility, food, logistics, fintech and other O2O challenges, according to today’s release.

This will happen in two ways:

  • Strategic partners and integration with Grab services for mature startups
  • Grab Ventures Velocity, a 16-week programme, for startups still scaling up

Grab has secured the support of various government agencies and private companies for this initiative. It says it’s working with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo), and the Creative Economy Agency (BEKRAF), as well as companies like Amazon Web Services, and MDI Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Telkom Indonesia. 

Grab Ventures Velocity will begin later this year. Interested startups have until 10 September to apply.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad