Ride-hailing company Grab announced today that it is moving into the bike and e-scooter sharing business with a new mobile app that gives users access to bikes and devices from four operators.
Grab’s latest venture parks several shared-bike and shared personal mobility device (PMD) providers under one app. The new moves will make it easier to rent bicycles or electric scooters from several operators under a common app.
To be piloted at Sentosa in the first half of 2018 before being rolled out at other venues, GrabCycle users can use shared bikes and e-scooters from Grab’s mobility partners – oBike, GBikes, Anywheel and PopScoot. GrabPay credits can be used to pay from users’ accounts which are linked to the main Grab app.
Grab is launching the app in Singapore, the first country in Southeast Asia, and there are plans for it to be available regionally as well, according to Mr Reuben Lai, head of GrabVentures. “Our focus is to test it out to make sure we get it right here and if consumers love it, then there’s nothing stopping us from continuing to expand throughout Southeast Asia,” he said.
“GrabCycle supplements the public transport network and is in line with the Government’s commitment to build a greener and more liveable city,” added Mr Lai. “With GrabCycle we move one step closer towards our vision of being a multi-modal platform with transport options to suit every need.”
Grab has also partnered with local supply chain company YCH to manage proper parking of GrabCycle bikes and devices devices at locations including Sentosa.
GrabCycle will allow users to locate and book shared bicycles from oBike, GBikes and Anywheel, as well as shared e-scooters from PopScoot through a single app.
The introduction of GrabCycle moves Grab one step closer to its vision of being a “multi-modal” transport platform, said Mr Lai.
He added that Grab had not ruled out partnerships with other shared bicycle and PMD firms, and that it hoped to work with its partners to facilitate the redesigning of public spaces for personal mobility.
“We will study commuting patterns and use data to identify and build new cycling pathways and common parking spots for our users,” he said.
He declined comment on reports that Grab is close to signing a deal to take over Uber’s operations in the region, saying the firm does not comment on speculation.
Friday’s announcement comes after Grab and oBike signed an agreement for a strategic partnership in January that included, among other things, the incorporation of Grab’s mobile payment platform GrabPay into the oBike app.
It was also reported in September 2017 that Grab had invested in oBike, as part of a $45 million funding round.
In China, ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has tied up with both ofo and BlueGogo.
Mobike also started offering ride-hailing services there.
For partners like oBike, GBikes, Anywheel, and Popscoot, they will have access to Grab’s 86 million user base, and also enjoy GrabPay and GrabRewards’ integration.
oBike, founded in Singapore in January 2017. claims to be Southeast Asia’s first smart station-less bike-sharing company.
There are reportedly over 14,000 oBikes docked around various locations, with more than a million active users in a country of 5.5 million people in Singapore.
Grab also quietly invested in oBike’s $45 million Series B round that was announced in August, as reported by tech media Techcrunch.
GBikes on the other hand, have raised $20 million in its initial round of funding.
Since its inception in May 2017, GBikes shared that it planned to launch 3,000 of its bicycles throughout Singapore by end-September.
With bike sharing’s immense popularity in Singapore, it makes sense for Grab to launch an aggregator app instead of launching their own bike sharing service.
It stays true to Grab’s strategy in the nascent days, where it was originally launched as an asset light third party taxi-booking app.
This operating model is similar to other technology giants around the world – where everyone is operating an asset light model.
Just as Facebook does not own any of the content on its platform, Airbnb does not own any of the properties on its platform, GrabCycle now too does not own any of the bicycles on its platform.
Grab acquires Uber’s South-east Asia Business, Uber takes 27.5% stake in Grab; GrabFood to expand
Grab announced today that it has acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia operations, ending speculation about reports of the merger that surfaced over the weekend, simultaneously ending a fierce market share in the region.
Grab said it will integrate Uber’s ride-sharing and food delivery business in the region into its platform.
“This deal is the largest-ever of its kind in Southeast Asia,” ride-hailing service Grab said in a media release on Monday.
“With the combined business, Grab will drive towards becoming the number one online-to-offline mobile platform in Southeast Asia and a major player in food delivery.”
Passengers “can expect better service with more drivers and transport options available in one app”.
As part of the acquisition, Uber will take a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab’s board.
It will take over Uber’s operations and assets in eight countries in the region. There are Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Grab president Ming Maa told Reuters on Monday that the deal was closed and the firm was in touch with regulators to address any concerns.
He added that the deal was “a very independent decision by both companies” and was “highly” supported by their common investor, Japan’s SoftBank Group.
Mr Anthony Tan, group CEO and co-founder of Grab said: “We are humbled that a company born in Southeast Asia has built one of the largest platforms that millions of consumers use daily and provides income opportunities to over 5 million people.
“Today’s acquisition marks the beginning of a new era. The combined business is the leader in platform and cost efficiency in the region.”
Uber chief Mr Khosrowshahi added: “This deal is a testament to Uber’s exceptional growth across South-east Asia over the last five years. It will help us double down on our plans for growth as we invest heavily in our products and technology to create the best customer experience on the planet.”
We’d like to share some exciting news with you! Uber will be joining Grab in Singapore and across Southeast Asia, as…
Ms Tan Hooi Ling, co-founder of Grab said they will expand GrabFood into all major Southeast Asia countries by the first half of 2018.
“GrabFood will also be another great use case to drive the continued adoption of GrabPay mobile wallet and support our growing financial services platform,” she said.
“To minimise disruption, Grab and Uber are working together to promptly migrate Uber drivers and riders, Uber Eats customers, merchant partners and delivery partners to the Grab platform.”
Grab also said that it will continue to grow its core transportation offerings and while expanding its financial offerings such as mobile payments, micro-financing and insurance.
“GrabPay as a mobile wallet will be available across all major Southeast Asian countries by the end of the year,” it said.
We’re excited to take this step with Anthony and his entire team at Grab, and look forward to Grab’s future in Southeast Asia,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
The deal marks the industry’s first big consolidation in Southeast Asia, home to about 640 million people, and puts pressure on rivals such as Indonesia’s Go-Jek, backed by Alphabet Inc’s Google and China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd.
With Uber’s news of pulling out of Southeast Asia cemented, attention may now turn to the company’s operations in India, which accounts for more than 10 percent of Uber’s trips globally, but is not making money yet.
Uber’s deal with Grab is similar to the one struck in China in 2016, when a bruising price war ended in Didi Chuxing buying out Uber’s China business in return for a stake in the company. Grab raised about US$2.5 billion last July from Didi, SoftBank and others in a deal valuing the company at around US$6 billion.
Bloomberg first reported the deal.
CUSTOMERS, SERVICE-PROVIDERS TO BE MIGRATED TO GRAB
In the media release, Grab said Uber drivers and riders, as well as Uber Eats customers, partnering eateries and delivery partners will be migrated to the Grab platform.
The Uber app will continue to operate for two weeks until 8th April 2018, after which riders will have to download the Grab app and register for an account to use the service. The data customers previously shared with Uber – excluding payment information – will also be transferred to Grab, although it will not be visible in the Grab app.
Customers can continue viewing their past trips and ratings on the Uber app, which can still be used with their accounts in countries outside Southeast Asia, Grab said. The account will remain active and can be used in any country outside southeast Asia where Uber operates.
Fares will continue to be calculated based on a base distance, with a dynamic surcharge that will be applied based on factors including demand and supply in that particular point in time, traffic conditions and estimated time taken for the journey, according to Grab’s website.
Passengers who choose the taxi options will continue to pay by metered fares that are set by the taxi companies. Fares for other services like GrabHitch or GrabShuttle will remain at the usual fixed amounts.
Uber for Business services for employees of local and global companies will not be supported for trips taken in Southeast Asia after the transition. Uber rides outside of Southeast Asia will still be supported through existing Uber for Business agreements.
For more information on Grab-Uber merger and how it affects passengers, click here.
For now, Uber drivers can sign up to drive with Grab online. According to the website, it will usually take five working days after the driver completes training for Grab to process new driver registrations.
However, Grab said it may take longer than usual to process registrations as it expects a large number of new drivers registering in the next few weeks.
Uber will pay its drivers any fares and incentives from rides picked up using the Uber Partner app, and will continue to handle and resolve any support requests entered by its drivers, Grab added.
Please note that LCR and UberHUB are closed until further notice.
In a Facebook update on Monday, Uber’s car rental partner Lion City Rentals said that it was closed “until further notice”, along with the UberHUB office at Paya Lebar Road.
Uber Eats will run until the end of May, after which Uber delivery and restaurant partners will move to the GrabFood platform, Grab said.
According to the website, customers can expect the prices on GrabFood to remain the same as they were on Uber Eats. Restaurant and delivery partners also should not expect to see a change in their compensation during the transition, it added.
According to a report by Meltwater,
Download the full report here.
FIERCE COMPETITION IN ASIA, CRACKDOWN IN EUROPE
SoftBank, which has also taken major stakes in China’s Didi Chuxing and India’s Ola, has been pushing for consolidation in the global ride-hailing industry, which has been losing billions of dollars a year due to turf wars.
Uber lost US$4.5 billion last year and has burned through US$10.7 billion since its founding nine years ago. Analysts say by that by exiting the tough South-east Asian,Uber could narrow its losses and better position itself for a 2019 initial public offering in the US.
It is also recovering from a year of scandals that saw co-founder Travis Kalanick ousted out as chief executive in June 2017 amidst US criminal inquiries and a workplace marred by sexual harassment allegations.
Grab, which started out as a taxi-hailing app, My Teksi, in Kuala Lumpur in 2012, has become the region’s dominant ride-hailing service with US$4 billion raised from investors.
SoftBank gained two seats on Uber’s board of directors through its investment and has said it wants the company to focus on growing in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia, but not in Asia, due to the lack of profitability.
Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said at a conference in New York in November that the company’s Asia operations were not going to be “profitable any time soon,” particularly because of how heavily Uber was subsidising rides there.
“The economics of that market are not what we want them to be,” he said at the time. Mr Khosrowshahi, who took over the top job at Uber in August, has been working to clean up the company’s financials ahead taking it public. During a visit to India in February, he pledged to continue investing aggressively in Southeast Asia.
Space for Humanity is sending 10,000 citizen astronauts to space for FREE!
Disclaimer: This is 100% true, not fake news, it’s legitimate.
Our goal at Space for Humanity is to send 10,000 ordinary citizens into space.People just like YOU.No experience necessary.spaceforhumanity.org
Did you know that it costs $40 million dollars to send one person to space?
And here’s a fact: To date, only 536 people have traveled to space and the vast majority have been men from a handful of nations. Dylan Taylor, a space industry angel investor and SpaceNews columnist, is eager to share the experience with 10,000 people through a nonprofit organization, Space for Humanity, that will pay for the trips.
“We are going to mint new astronauts from all communities,” Taylor said on 27th June 2018 at the annual NewSpace conference. “We want to influence public policy and opinion… by changing the mindset.”
(Mr Dylan Taylor, a space industry angel investor and SpaceNews Columnist)
Space for Humanity is beginning to gather nominations through its website for people from diverse backgrounds to travel to space or near space and return to Earth to serve as ambassadors who can share their experiences.
“We are not going to send multimillionaire white males who can afford to go,” Taylor said. “When those people come back and talk about their experience, someone who lives in New Delhi who makes $1 a day is not necessarily going to relate to that experience. We need to send someone from their community who can share their experience.”
Through its efforts, Space for Humanity intends to increase global funding for space. “People will come back and influence their communities to get excited about space,” Taylor said. “Space funding will increase because people will see the benefit it has to the way people relate to the world, the way people relate to problems and the way people view themselves.”
Space for Humanity is considering purchasing rides for participants in World View Enterprises’ high-altitude balloon and Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle because both will give “diverse participants a group experience,” Taylor said.
Taylor and a group of donors he cannot yet name plan to provide Space for Humanity with initial funding of $10 million over 24 months. “Successful missions will help us raise additional funding,” Taylor told SpaceNews.
What do you think about this new and highly ambitious initiative? Go ahead and share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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About Space for Humanity:
Space for Humanity will mean different things to different people. For the non-profit organisation, it means leveraging the power of space to improve humanity for our world by providing an experience that will expand an individual’s perspective on what it means to be a human on mother earth. Individuals who are selected must be willing advocates for the growth of the commercial space industry and have the capacity to both understand and communicate that the intent of the Worldview trip is to give them a rare gift, the gift of perspective.
Apply now before you miss this once in a lifetime opportunity at: https://spaceforhumanity.org/register/.
PasarBella Singapore closing down F&B section at Turf City Outlet
Dear Customers, after the many years of your support, we regret to inform you that we have decided to reduce our…
Local gourmet market PasarBella made an official announcement yesterday that they will be closing down the food and beverage (F&B) section of its outlet at The Grandstand from 15th February 2018 onwards.
According to its Facebook post on 6th February 2018, PasarBella said that it expects all the 12 affected F&B vendors to discontinue their tenure by the end of the month. The retail section at The Grandstand will resume business from 19th February 2018 after the Chinese New Year holidays from 16th February 2018 to 18th February 2018.
PasarBella opened its first outlet along Turf Club Road in 2013, housing more than 30 vendors offering F&B, groceries and retail items. The venue has successfully attracted many visitors over the years due to its its rustic interior that is similar to the farmers’ markets in the United Kingdom and Australia.
The 10 staying vendors at the retail section include Dutch Colony Coffee, The Shabby Chic Store and Ketzal Silver. Sarnies Cafe will also be brought in to join the rest.
PasarBella’s five-year lease, expected to expire on 28th February 2018, has been extended for another two years and 10 months by The Grandstand’s manager, Cogent Land Capital.
In an interview with ST, PasarBella owner Clovis Lim, 29, said that there is a possibility that the entire F&B space would be leased out to a separate operator.
Other owners are also relocating elsewhere after the closure. For instance, Japanese restaurant Yoyogi will reopen at Amoy Street this July.