Grab Doubles Down in Indonesia With Investment in E-Wallet LinkAja and New Tech Centerby Fintech News Singapore November 10, 2020
Grab doubles down on Indonesia by leading a Series B funding round worth US$100 million in Indonesian e-wallet LinkAja and the establishment of a new Tech Center.
The funding round includes investments from Telkomsel, BRI Ventura Investama, and Mandiri Capital Indonesia. The funds will be utilised to accelerate LinkAja’s growth aspirations, focused primarily on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) segments in Indonesia.
Commencing its commercial operations in June 2019, the LinkAja e-wallet was a result of synergy between leading Indonesian state-owned enterprises.
Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder of Grab, had previously stated that Indonesia was one of their primary markets was looking to invest US$ 2 billion over the next five years.
Haryati Lawidjaja, CEO of LinkAja, said,
“We are very excited to have Grab as one of our shareholders. We believe that the strategic cooperation supported by Grab’s investment and technology expertise will strengthen LinkAja’s services in giving effective solutions to provide access to finance and economy for Indonesians. We continue to welcome new investors and partners from various sectors to be a part of LinkAja’s mission in realising our big goals of encouraging financial and economic inclusion, as well as accelerating Indonesia’s national economic growth.”
At the same time, Grab also inaugurated its Tech Center in Indonesia, which will serve as its regional innovation hub dedicated to building technology solutions for MSMEs in South East Asia.
The Tech Center will focus on researching, designing and testing tools and technology for the Indonesian MSME market first, which will then be exported to other emerging markets in Southeast Asia. Indonesia is home to more than 64 million MSMEs, of which only 16% are digitalised, making it an ideal testbed.
One example of an MSME solution that was built in Indonesia is Grab’s Merchant Self Onboarding tool, which allows food businesses to get up and running on Grab in just 24 hours.
Created by the Grab Indonesia team, the feature allowed Grab to bring MSMEs onboard at scale and speed during the pandemic when many of them were rushing to go online for the first time. Between May and September, over 70,000 merchants in Indonesia joined Grab through self-onboarding. Grab plans to roll the tool out to other markets in the region.
Ridzki Kramadibrata, President of Grab Indonesia said,
“The Grab Tech Center houses teams focused on GrabKios, Merchant and GrabFood research and development (R&D), with a full suite of functions necessary to conduct end-to-end product development. These include product management, product design, product analytics, software engineering and quality assurance engineering.
Grab plans to further strengthen staffing in the areas of backend engineering, mobile front-end engineering as well as site reliability engineering. One of the Grab Indonesia Tech team’s key responsibilities is the ownership of Grab’s digital goods platform. Through the digital goods platform, the team builds products that create additional income sources for Grab’s driver and agent-partners.
Featured image credit: Unsplash