Southeast Asian ride-hailing and mobile payments platform, Grab, has announced to acquire Indonesian O2O (online to offline) ecommerce platform, Kudo. According to the company, on completing the acquisition, Kudo’s team and platform will be integrated with Grab’s proprietary mobile payments platform, GrabPay. Though the acquisition amount is undisclosed, Reuters had reported in February that the ride-hailing platform was in talks to buy Kudo for $100 million.
Rationale behind the move
Grab had recently announced ‘Grab 4 Indonesia’ 2020 master plan, according to which it will invest $700 million in Indonesia over the coming three years. The acquisition marks the first investment that the ride-hailing platform has made under this plan. The motive of the plan is to develop Indonesia’s digital economy through the promotion of technology innovation, driving ‘technopreneurship’ in mobile technologies and financial services, as well as improving access to mobile payments and financing opportunities.
What does Kudo have to offer?
Kudo’s platform helps the unbanked Indonesian customers to shop online by connecting them with online merchants and service providers via Kudo’s network of more than 400,000 authorized agents in 500 towns and cities across the country. Grab plans to leverage this network and combine it with its reach across Indonesia’s major cities.
Grab states that it will also support and accelerate the expansion of Kudo’s agent network while also leveraging Kudo’s reach to bring more riders, drivers and GrabPay users onto the Grab platform. Both the companies also plan to explore opportunities to grow Kudo’s financial services offering, including insurance and consumer loans.
“Combining Kudo’s innovative O2O ecommerce solution and extensive agent network with GrabPay and Grab’s massive and active customer base will advance our mission of providing millions of people across Indonesia with increased access to convenient cashless payments and new income opportunities, while also unlocking compelling new ways to boost online spending,” said Ming Maa, President, Grab.
“Kudo’s integration represents an important first step in our ‘Grab 4 Indonesia’ plan to provide all Indonesians an opportunity to move into the digital economy.”
Strengthening mobile payments
Last year November, the ride-hailing company had launched GrabPay Credits in select markets across Southeast Asia to encourage a move towards a cashless society and improve safety by reducing dependence on physical cash. The company claims to have partnered with banks across the region, to help customers book rides through cashless transactions, even without a credit card. The company aims to further penetrate the market keeping Kudo’s partner network in mind.
“Grab shares our vision of creating payments solutions that empower the unbanked to benefit from the rapid growth of ecommerce, and we look forward to embarking on the next stage of our growth as part of the Grab team,” said Albert Lucius, CEO, Kudo.
“Given that GrabPay is already one of the most widely-used payments platforms in Indonesia, this acquisition creates immediate synergies with our existing business. We are excited to work together to bring the ease and convenience of cashless payments to more Indonesians than ever before.”