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Grab S'pore chief: Funding aimed at developing innovative products

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Ride-hailing giant Grab's announcement this week that it intends to raise another US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) from private investors this year is not aimed at fending off competition, said the firm's new Singapore head Yee Wee Tang.

Instead, the funding is aimed at allowing the firm to develop more "innovative products", said Mr Yee, 42, who previously headed Grab's operations in Cambodia.

"After each funding round, our focus remains the same."

On Monday, Grab president Ming Maa said a "significant portion" of its funding this year would be invested in Indonesia - the home turf of rival Gojek, which rolled out its ride-hailing service here in late November last year.

The Singapore-based firm is not concerned about the competition, Mr Yee told The Straits Times yesterday .

"We welcome competition, competitors make us and drive our innovation," he said, noting Grab's business "continues to grow".

For example, delivery service GrabFood has seen a 25 per cent month-on-month increase since its roll out in May last year , he said.

Grab is now focused on ramping up its "super-app" ambitions, which would be to offer a slew of services through a single mobile app.

"By the end of this year, consumers will see a difference. They will be able to do a lot more of their daily transactions on the Grab app," he said.

In the coming months, Grab aims to roll out a trip planner on its app which will include public transport options in addition to taxis and private-hire cars.

The firm will also offer hotel bookings and other ticketing options through its app, as well as video content.

The GrabFood service - now offered through a separate app - will also be integrated in the main app, said Mr Yee.- THE STRAITS TIMES