Grab, a ride-hailing app maker in Southeast Asia, will invest $700 million in Indonesia over the next four years to support the government’s goal of becoming the largest digital economy by 2020 in the region.
The effort, dubbed ‘Grab Indonesia 2020′, includes a research and development centre in Jakarta which will aim to hire more than 150 engineers over the next two year, as well as a fund which will see the firm invest up to $100 million in startups in the mobile and financial services industries.
Grab will also provide its driver partners with access to more financing opportunities to purchase their own smartphones and vehicles, and continue to expand to more cities in Indonesia, grow its transport services, and invest in GrabPay.
The firm’s “master plan” follows a strong year of growth in Indonesia, with its GrabCar and GrabBike businesses each growing more than 600 per cent over the course of 2016, it said.
Following its 2016 expansion to new cities, Grab claims to bring its “multi-modal services” to more cities in Indonesia than any of its competitors and continues to see “highly active user engagement and stickiness across its multi-service platform,” with one in three of Grab’s Indonesian passengers using more than one Grab service.
To date, the company has more than 630,000 drivers and 33 million downloads across Southeast Asia.
In December, Grab said it would collaborate with Honda on initiatives to benefit both drivers and riders of its motorbike taxi service, a few months after Ming Maa, a dealmaker at SoftBank and former VP at Goldman Sachs, was named president.