Grab Announces Acquisition of Wealth Tech Startup Bento

Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab announced on Tuesday it is set to acquire Bento Invest Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based robot-advisory startup. Grab reported that with the acquisition, Bento will be rebranded to GrabInvest, which will be a new core business vertical under Grab’s financial services arm, Grab Financial Group, led by Chandrima Das, founder, and CEO of Bento, with products launched on the Grab app in the first half of the year in Singapore. Grab further explained:

“GrabInvest aims to democratise access to retail wealth management products, in order to provide millions across Southeast Asia with the opportunity to save and invest in financial products traditionally limited to affluent individuals and institutional investors. GrabInvest aims to make wealth management services accessible by adopting a low-cost model, easy to understand by allowing users to transact on a platform they are familiar with, transparent by having full disclosures on fees with zero hidden elements, and trusted by adhering to consumer protection standards outlined by our Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Capital Markets Services  (CMS) license. “

Speaking about the acquisition, Reuben Lai, Senior Managing Director of Grab Financial Group, stated:

“In Southeast Asia, there is a lack of access to affordable wealth management products and retirement planning solutions for most people. As we face an increasingly volatile and uncertain economic environment, it is imperative for Southeast Asians to acquire the tools and knowledge to protect their future by sustainably building wealth for themselves and their families. The launch of GrabInvest brings us a step closer to democratising access to affordable financial solutions that will help them achieve the financial stability they need well into their retirement years.”

Chandrima Das, Founder and CEO, Bento, and Grab Financial Group’s new Head of Wealth Management, added:

“The Bento and Grab Financial teams share a common vision to democratise investments for our customers irrespective of their wallet size. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Grab ecosystem as we work together to make wealth management solutions serve the financial needs of millions of Southeast Asians.”

The acquisition comes just a little over a month after Grab confirmed it was partnering with telecommunication company Singtel to acquire a full digital banking license in Singapore. At the time, Reuben Lai, senior managing director at Grab Financial Group, stated:

“In the past two years, we have launched and scaled financial services such as e-money, lending and insurance distribution into Southeast Asia’s largest fintech ecosystem.” 

The acquisition’s financial details have not been disclosed at this time.

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