Southeast Asia’s Grab Now Helping 35.5M Consumers with Everyday Services Including Making Digital Payments

In 2023—as economies fully reopened and travel resumed—Grab (NASDAQ: GRAB) says that its mobility business rebounded and their deliveries business showed remarkable resilience amidst rising inflation.

Grab claims that they grew their user base.

As of December 2023, 35.5 million people leverage their platform “to eat, ride and make digital payments every month.”

Grab further notes that they have welcomed “over one million new driver-partners and 500,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on to their platform.”

And they have reportedly served “more than 3.5 billion transactions.”

With an ever-growing community relying on Grab in their day-to-day lives, whether for utility, convenience, or to earn a living, Grab’s responsibility “to the society and the environment they operate in magnifies.”

This is reflected in their resolute commitment to the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities—first, “to empower partners to earn sustainable livelihoods; second, to offer a safe, trusted platform that everyone in our ecosystem can reliably depend on; and third, to manage their impact on the environment in order to foster a lasting planet for the communities they are dedicated to serving today and into the future.”

As they seek to make continuous, consistent progress against these commitments, they release ESG reports on an annual basis “that serves as an important accountability measure. Here are some of the key progress updates” from the latest report covering 2023:

Better and fairer earnings for driver-partners

In 2023, in line with their principles for fair work conditions and sustainable earnings, Grab introduced “a new driver fare structure.”

It takes into account the “time and distance our driver-partners travel to get to where the passenger is, and ensures they are fairly compensated for the effort needed to pick up passengers, without impacting passenger fees.”

Additionally, they have continued “to roll out initiatives to boost partners’ productivity, so that they can complete more orders and increase their earnings with less effort, time, or costs.”

Through features like hyper-batching and their Grab Navigation technology, they saw a 5.6% increase in trips “per transit hour across mobility and deliveries, a 14% reduction in drivers’ wait time for order pickups, and delivery partners earned 53% more per transit hour for batched orders.”

On the whole, our driver-partners “saw their earnings per transit hour grow 9% year-on-year.”

Improving financial inclusion for the underserved

Many of their driver- and MSME merchant-partners “are ‘invisible’ in the traditional financial system due to a lack of formal credit history.”

They aim to bridge this gap, “leveraging their data to offer cash loans for our driver-partners, and business loans for MSMEs so that they do not have to turn to unlicensed moneylenders.”

In 2023, loan disbursals to their driver- and merchant-partners “increased 57% year-on-year. 1 in 3 active driver-partners take up a loan with us, and are 4X more likely to be approved for a loan from us as compared to other credible lending alternatives.”

Their new digibanks in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia will “provide additional financial products for underserved groups such as gig workers, entrepreneurs, and early jobbers.”

Helping partners grow their skill sets and diversify their earning potential

Grab works with corporates and government agencies “to give partners access to upskilling programs.”

These help them in their current roles, or teach new skills “so they can pursue more opportunities, even beyond the Grab platform.”

In 2023, Grab rolled out more courses “with Microsoft, covering financial literacy, digital marketing, and professional career preparation.”

In Thailand, they worked with “the Department of Skill Development and Social Security Office to co-develop training modules on topics such as English for Drivers, Chinese for Drivers, and Electric Vehicles 101.”

Grab and Mastercard also jointly “launched the ‘Small Business, Big Dreams’ initiative, providing digital upskilling for small businesses and gig economy workers across Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.”

More than 1.2 million driver-partners “have taken a course on GrabAcademy in 2023.”

For more details on this update, check here.

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