Grab launches Grab Ventures with US$250mil for Indonesian startups | Digital Asia

  • To help select startups scale up nationally and across Southeast Asia
  • Grab Ventures Velocity will specifically support startups in the scaling stage



GRAB, a Southeast Asian O2O (online-to-offline) mobile platform, on Aug 29 launched Grab Ventures, the company's innovation arm, in Indonesia with plans to invest IDR3 trillion (US$250 million) in Indonesian startups.

Grab Ventures aims to help select Indonesian startups scale up nationally and across Southeast Asia, by providing a blend of Southeast Asian market access, mentorship, technology capabilities and strategic investments.

Grab Ventures is the latest initiative of the ‘Grab 4 Indonesia' 2020 Master Plan to support Indonesia's goal to be Southeast Asia's largest economy by 2020.

Grab Ventures also announced Grab Ventures Velocity, their programme to specifically support startups in the scaling stage.

The programme is in association with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo), Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf), and partners include Amazon Web Services (AWS) and MDI Ventures, Telkom Indonesia's corporate venture capital initiative.

Rudiantara, Minister of Communication and Information Technology, said, “With the rapid growth of mobile connectivity and smartphone ownership, Indonesia can, and should, be the biggest digital economy in the region. Indonesia has been the home of some notable tech unicorns, and we believe more regional or global tech leaders can emerge from Indonesia.

“We are pioneering IDEA Hub, a digital economy platform to accelerate economic access to G20 countries, another initiative to provide learning materials and best practices for Indonesia's digital companies. On the other hand, Indonesian digital companies need to dream big like Grab, and thus I commend its commitment to mentoring and helping local startups to scale nationally and regionally.”

Grab Indonesia managing director Ridzki Kramadibrata, said, “Since we launched Grab 4 Indonesia in 2017, our belief that Grab does well if Indonesia does well has strongly come to life. This is why we continue to invest in Indonesia.

“Since last year, we've created hundreds of tech jobs and empowered more than five million micro-entrepreneurs. At the same time, Grab has established itself as the leading startup in Indonesia. In ride-hailing alone, we have 65% market share today.

“We now want to help other startups dream bigger and become not just Indonesia's next unicorn but also one of Southeast Asia's tech leaders.”

Grab Ventures in Indonesia

The launch of Grab Ventures in Indonesia follows its regional launch in June in Singapore. It aims to discover and grow Southeast Asia's next generation of technology leaders and promote innovation and digitisation.

Grab will partner or invest in startups who want to solve mobility, food, logistics, fintech and other O2O challenges.

Grab Ventures will work with startups at multiple stages of growth in two ways:

Strategic partnerships and integration with Grab's services for mature startups.

For example, Grab invested in Kudo and shared Grab's capabilities and expertise. Kudo's agent network has grown 3x since.

Grab Ventures Velocity for startups that are still scaling up.

This is a 16-week programme to help participating companies scale up faster through access to assets, resources, capabilities and networks of Grab and its programme partners.

The first cohort of Grab Ventures Velocity will go through the programme starting later this year. Interested startups can apply by Sept 10 through .

Grab Ventures Velocity is a scale-up programme that is supported throughout Indonesia's and Southeast Asia's technology ecosystem.

AWS will provide benefits to selected startups through the AWS Activate Portfolio Plus package and also technical mentoring on platform security, scaling and best practices to Grab's curated startup partners.

MDI Ventures, which has operations in Singapore and Silicon Valley, will provide local expertise and access to their mentors networks.

The Grab Ventures Velocity scale-up programme complements Bekraf and Kominfo's efforts to create a supportive environment for early startups through initiatives like Go Digital Vision 2020 and Go Startup Indonesia.

Speaking at the launch of Grab Ventures in Indonesia, Ridzki commented, “We have proven ourselves as a partner of choice to other startups with our excellent track record to date. Since our acquisition of Kudo, it has grown its agent network from 400,000 to 1.4 million registered agents.

“OVO, our strategic payments partner has also rapidly grown with the help of Grab's user base and became the largest digital wallet in Indonesia by Total Payments Volume (TPV).”

Next phase of ‘Grab 4 Indonesia' 2020 Master Plan

First announced in February 2017, Grab committed IDR10 trillion (US$700 million) to the ‘Grab 4 Indonesia' 2020 Master Plan to provide all Indonesians an opportunity to move into the digital economy. The programme creates more jobs, upskills the Indonesian workforce and grows the technology sector.

Grab Ventures is the latest ‘Grab 4 Indonesia' initiative to support the growth of the tech startup ecosystem in the country.

Grab will invest an additional IDR3 trillion (US$250 million) into Indonesia in the next three years through Grab Ventures' Velocity scale-up programme.


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