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Grab raises $300m from Invesco to move beyond ride-hailing

In View Summary

Grab , a ride-hailing company in SEA has raised $300 million from Invesco to further boost its drive to become a “super-app” offering a plethora of consumer services. This also includes insurance services by becoming the region’s largest insurtech player by number of policies.

Grab also aims to be the region’s largest insurance tech player by number of policies and the top fintech by loan dispersal by end of 2019

Early this year, Grab and Zhong An together formed a JV to launch a digital insurance distribution business in Southeast Asia. The platform offers innovative insurance products in a range of categories with fractionalized premiums, directly to users through the Grab mobile app. The marketplace is supported by global insurers who develop tailored insurance products for Southeast Asia. The platform addresses the usual pain points of consumer accessibility, unaffordable premiums, and easier payment options.

The partnership also announced the extension of their offering to its SME partners via the “Grow with Grab” program. The program is based on three pillars:

– Generate more earnings with new payment technologies

– Grow your business with micro loans

– Gain peace of mind with micro insurance

Micro loans and micro insurance both are currently not accessible by these SMEs. These micro programs require less regulatory compliance making them a threat to the banks in the long run.

Grab plans to use the newly raised investment to develop its financial services arm which is a critical step towards diversification from its existing ride-hailing competition.

Investors are confident on Grab’s ability to unlock new opportunities across on-demand mobility, delivery and financial services in the region.

According to Anthony Tan, Co-Founder Grab: “(it is) expanding its financial services unit as well as becoming south-east Asia’s top food delivery service by revenue by the end of 2019 are Grab’s two key objectives. Grab also aims to be the region’s largest insurance tech player by a number of policies and the top fintech by loan dispersal by year end.”

Reported Benefits

Benefits to Customers:

  • Improved customer reach
  • Customer retention and engagement
  • Innovation
  • Improved processing time and reduced costs

Benefit to the Insurer:

  • On-demand
  • Improved customer experience
  • Improved insurance accessibility
  • Reduced processing time and costs
  • Innovative products and service

The Digital Insurer's View

To date, insurtechs have been competing with the traditional incumbents in terms of customer’s physical touch-points and the focus was on the difficulties faced by the customers in accessing insurance. But that was never the right approach, rather the focus should have been on competing with applications that are already providing customers the convenience and look-and-feel in non-insurance and non-banking industries.

Grab is trying to make possible exactly this idea. It wants to disrupt traditional insurance. And SMEs are a great place to start with as they account for 96% of all enterprises in ASEAN member states.


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