With the impending 1st anniversary of GrabFood in Singapore, head of GrabFood Singapore, Lim Kell Jay, announced that GrabFood – currently a separate app – will be assimilated into the Grab app, an offshoot of the company’s continued pursuit to create Southeast Asia’s most prominent super app. This announcement was made during a media event on Tuesday (16 April).
Phase one of beta-testing the new GrabFood application will be carried out in the southeast region – Kallang, Marine Parade, Geylang, and Bedok – of Singapore in late April, while the island wide beta-test will commence in May. The tech company is also starting a similar testing phase in Malaysia from April 17.
With the integration, delivery riders will be able to easily communicate with GrabFood users through GrabChat, that comes with a set of relevant template messages to inform consumers on the status of the food delivery.
Lim also announced that there will be an array of new features that are expected to roll out in the next few months – including restaurant ratings based on customer feedback, customised widgets on the Grab home screen, and pre-ordering of meals in advance.
After the move, over 5,000 merchants under GrabFood will be able to connect with Grab’s full base in Singapore.
Grab did not reveal the specific number of users in Singapore, but said it has a total of 144 million users regionally. Merchants will also be given full visibility of riders’ whereabouts in real time so that they are able to cook and pack orders according to the location of the riders.
Additional control will also be provided to merchants in terms of setting their own operating days or hours. For instance, the option of temporarily pausing the orders to cope with demand will be made available.
Just an entry to a Business Plan competition
Grab began as an entry to a business plan competition — now, it has grown into a company with operations in 30 cities across six Southeast Asian countries: Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam. Launched in Kuala Lumpur in 2012 as the taxi-booking app MyTeksi (later renamed Grab Taxi).
In 2017, Grab is in 142 cities in seven South-east Asian countries – and an eighth country, Cambodia, might be added soon. Its ride volume is steadily moving towards 4 million a day. And app downloads have crossed 68 million.
Singapore has proven to be a strong market, Lim says, with each taxi making more rides than their regional counterparts. Even then, the supply still fell short by up to 50% during peak hours, according to Grab’s calculations.
To meet this demand, the company turned its attention to boosting its transient supply, and, in mid 2014, launched its GrabCar platform, which mobilises private cars.
Can Grab’s newest innovation put an end to the Grab-Go-jek rivalry? The answer will depend on how Go-jek will react to Grab’s cutting-edge creation. If Go-jek people innovate further in enhancing its services, Grab will definitely have to be on its toes as the tug-of-war for supremacy in the market continues.
Send in your scoop to firstname.lastname@example.org