Grab Launches Loans and Micro-Insurance in Southeast Asia
Grab Financial, the fintech arm of Southeast Asian ride-hailing major Grab, has rolled out its small and medium enterprise lending and micro-insurance service for drivers in Singapore under the “Grow with Grab” roadmap.
The roadmap puts Grab Financial in a strong position in financial services, as the group seeks to bring more possibilities to micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses, Grab said in a statement.
The firm claimed to have served more than 9 million micro-entrepreneurs over the past six years.
Through the joint venture partnership with Credit Saison last March, Grab has started providing working capital loans to help out small businesses in Singapore and lending pilots to its driver partners. The firm said it will pursue lending licences across Southeast Asia.
“This is a huge untapped opportunity for Grab Financial to support the region’s entrepreneurs who are less able to access traditional financial institutions. While SMEs contribute more than 50 per cent of ASEAN’s GDP, two thirds of SMEs cite business funding and financing as their biggest problem,” said Reuben Lai, senior managing director at Grab Financial, as quoted by Deal Street Asia
The launch comes just weeks after Grab raised $1.5 billion from the Vision Fund as part of a larger $5 billion Series H funding round that’ll be used to battle rival Go-Jek, which is vying with Grab to become the top on-demand app for Southeast Asia’s 600 million-plus consumers.
Grab acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia business in 2018 and it has spent the past year or so pushing a ‘super app’ strategy. That’s essentially an effort to become a daily app for Southeast Asia and, beyond rides, it entails food delivery, payments and other services on demand. Financial services are also a significant chunk of that focus, and now Grab is switching on loans and micro-insurance for the first time.