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Revolutionizing Southeast Asia: The Growth of Grab and its Competitors

Grab Holdings Inc. is a technology company that has consolidated its position as an essential provider of super app services within Southeast Asia.

It offers an array of transportation services, food delivery, and digital payments under one roof. In this article, we will explore Grab and its services.

We will also delve into its history, how it has grown to become a valuable company, and the acquisition of other companies and services.

Overview of Grab

Grab was established in 2012 as MyTeksi, founded by Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling. It is headquartered in Singapore and operates within Southeast Asia.

It is among the first ride-hailing companies in the region and has created a name for itself in the growing transportation industry. It later introduced the super app concept, where customers can access different services from one platform.

Today Grab is worth over $10 billion and has an estimated employee count of 9,000. Grab’s History and Growth

Grab’s success story began when Anthony Tan was studying in Harvard Business School, where he identified the need for reliable, safe, and affordable transportation in Southeast Asia.

He then launched MyTeksi with Tan Hooi Ling, who was his classmate. They took advantage of the growing transportation industry and launched the ride-hailing service, which connected drivers with passengers.

Their hard work has paid off, and the company has grown immensely. Over the years, they have opened headquarters in other Asian cities like Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, and Jakarta.

In addition, Maurice Larsson, the company’s founding member, helped in streamlining its expansion strategy, and the company has since then grown bigger. Grab’s Services and Acquisitions

Evolution of Grab’s Transportation Services

Initially, Grab launched its transportation services with GrabCar and GrabTaxi, which gained momentum within a short period.

Their trusted and reliable transportation system led to the introduction of other services, including GrabBike, GrabFood, and GrabWheels. GrabCar also introduced different services like GrabCar Plus, which provides luxurious transport services for business people, while GrabFamily caters to families traveling with children.

Grab’s Acquisitions and Expansion of Services

In March 2018, Grab acquired Alibaba-backed e-commerce firm Kudo to expand its digital payments platform, GrabPay. It allowed merchants to access digital payments and financial services.

The company then used this tool to introduce other services like GrabFood for online food delivery services. Grab’s acquisition of Uber Southeast Asia in 2018 was an impressive move, leading to the acquisition of over 170,000 drivers and users.

GrabPay, an online payment platform, is another service that Grab has added to its portfolio. Grab users can make payments using their credit cards and enjoy discounted prices, especially during promotions.

The super app concept has proven to be successful in the region, with the platform recording over 171 million downloads, which translates to a user base of approximately 100 million people. Grab’s revenue has been relatively high, with the company recording $1.5 billion in 2018.

However, the company is not without its losses, having recorded a net loss of $950 million in the same year. Despite this, the company has demonstrated resilience and determination in overcoming these challenges.


Grab Holdings a company that is digitizing Southeast Asia, one city at a time. By introducing a super app concept, Grab has been able to revolutionize transport, food delivery, and online payments in the region.

With a strong workforce and a smart acquisition strategy, Grab is poised to become one of the most successful technology companies in the region. Grab continues to listen to the market and make strategic moves to elevate its products consistently.

Our publication concludes by suggesting that, in the coming years, Grab will become a household name and continue to provide customers with the convenience of accessing the services they need from one platform. Grab’s Competitors

Grab’s success in Southeast Asia has not gone unnoticed, and it has spurred competition and the entry of other ride-hailing apps.

These competitors are offering similar services and trying to capture the market share that Grab has already established. In this section, we explore the top competitors of Grab.

Ranking Methodology for Competitors

Analysts use different ranking methodologies to determine the top ride-hailing apps in Southeast Asia. Some of the top metrics used include revenue, the number of employees, the number of countries, the number of drivers, and the number of users.

Although revenue is the primary ranking metric, user count serves as an essential indicator of a company’s penetration into the Southeast Asian market.

Top 9 Competitors of Grab



Go-Jek is Grab’s main competitor and operates primarily in Indonesia. It offers various services, including ride-hailing, food delivery, courier service, and mobile payments.

It also recently expanded to Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand.

Go-Jek prides itself on offering affordable services, with its GoRide service being one of the cheapest motorcycle ride services in Indonesia.



Foodpanda is a food delivery service that operates in 10 Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore and Thailand. The company partners with over 45,000 restaurants and has over 8,000 riders delivering food to customers.



LINE is a messaging app that offers ride-hailing services in Thailand. It has partnered with other ride-hailing services like Grab, allowing users to book a ride from within the messaging app.



ShopeeFood is a food delivery service owned by Shopee, a Southeast Asian e-commerce app. Its main market is Indonesia, but it has recently expanded to other markets in the region.



BeCar is a ride-hailing platform based in Vietnam. It offers services like Grab but mostly focuses on limousine and luxury vehicle transport.



Deliveroo is a food delivery service operating in Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong. It partners with over 3,500 restaurants and has over 2,500 riders.

7. Comfort

ComfortDelGro is a taxi company based in Singapore and is the largest taxi operator in the city-state.

It also has an app that customers can use to book a taxi. 8.

AirAsia Food

AirAsia is a low-cost airline operator in Southeast Asia and has recently launched its food delivery service. The service currently operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.



inDriver is a ride-hailing app that allows passengers to choose their fare price and negotiate a price with the driver. It operates in several Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia and the Philippines.


Go-Jek is a multi-service platform that has disrupted the Southeast Asian market. The company offers a wide range of services, including ride-hailing, food delivery, courier service, and mobile payments.

These services are available through the company’s Gojek app, which has over 170 million downloads. The company’s ride-hailing service, GoRide, is the most popular service, accounting for over 90 percent of the company’s revenue.

Growth and Financials of


Go-Jek’s customer base has grown considerably over the years, especially in Indonesia, where the company is based. It recently merged with Tokopedia, an Indonesian e-commerce company, to expand its services.

The company is also planning to go public with an IPO in the United States. The company’s revenue is still relatively small compared to its main competitor Grab, but with its expansion strategy and customer base, it is poised to become a formidable player in Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing market.


The competition in Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing market has intensified over the years, with different companies offering similar services. Although Grab is the market leader, other companies like

Go-Jek are catching up fast.

These companies are expanding their services and entering new markets, providing consumers with more options for ride-hailing, food delivery, mobile payments, and other services. Their success is evident, with many of these companies recording increasing revenue and user growth, giving Grab a run for its money.


Foodpanda is a food and grocery delivery service that operates in 10 Southeast Asian countries, including Cambodia, Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines. The company partners with over 45,000 restaurants and has over 8,000 riders delivering food to customers.

In this section, we explore

Foodpanda’s functionality, coverage, successes, and challenges. Functionality and Coverage of


Foodpanda’s primary service is food delivery, where customers can order food from partner restaurants within the app. The company has partnered with different types of restaurants, from high-end to fast food outlets.

Its service is available in both urban and rural areas within Southeast Asia. In addition, the company has expanded to offer grocery delivery services in some markets like Singapore and Thailand.

Foodpanda offers various payment options, including cash on delivery, credit card, and online payment services like GrabPay and PayMaya. The company has also introduced a contactless delivery option, enabling customers to receive their orders without physical contact with the rider.

This feature was added to support physical distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Successes and Challenges of


Foodpanda has witnessed a significant increase in its gross merchandise value (GMV) since its establishment. The company reported a GMV of $2 billion in 2020, with an increase of almost 50 percent compared to the previous year.

The company’s success has been attributed to its introduction of new services like grocery delivery, a growing network of partner restaurants, and excellent customer service. Although the company has experienced tremendous success, it has also had its share of controversies.

In one instance, the company faced a boycott from some restaurants in Singapore, citing issues like high commission rates and unfair treatment of smaller restaurants. The company responded by introducing new measures to address the concerns, but the damage was already done.


LINE is a messaging app widely used in Southeast Asia, mainly in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia. The app started with messaging software and has since transformed into a super app, offering various services, including ride-hailing, food delivery, and mobile payments.

Messaging Platform to Super App Transformation

LINE has leveraged its messaging platform to enter the transportation industry, offering ride-hailing services through its

LINE Taxi app. The company has also launched


LINE TODAY, which offer food delivery and news content, respectively.

Its partnership with Grab has further enabled it to offer mobile payments through

LINE Pay. The app’s widespread use in Southeast Asia, especially in Japan and Thailand, has helped it gain a considerable number of app users, contributing to the uptake of its super app services.

With the increasing availability of these services,

LINE is poised to become a significant player in Southeast Asia’s super app market. Financial Performance of


LINE’s financial performance has been mixed in recent years. The company reported a profit in 2020, mainly due to its stake in Z Holdings, formerly Yahoo Japan.

However, its core business experienced a loss in the same year due to reduced ad revenue, declining user numbers, and the pandemic’s impact. The company has since announced its aggressive expansion into the Southeast Asian market, particularly in Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The expansion is expected to generate increased revenue, mainly from the sale of its digital advertisements.


Foodpanda and

LINE are two companies that highlight the growing trend of super app services in Southeast Asia.

Foodpanda has leveraged its food delivery service to introduce grocery delivery, and the company’s excellent customer service has contributed to its success.

Despite this, the company has faced criticism over high commission rates, limiting its growth in some markets.

LINE, on the other hand, started as a messaging app and has since evolved into a super app, offering various services like ride-hailing, food delivery, and mobile payments.

Its increasing user base presents numerous opportunities, although the company’s core business has struggled in recent years.


Shopee, one of the leading e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia, has diversified its services by venturing into the food delivery market under the name

ShopeeFood. This move allows the company to offer a comprehensive platform for consumers, not only for online shopping but also for food delivery.

In this section, we will explore Shopee’s diversification into the food delivery space and the challenges and potential of

ShopeeFood. Shopee’s Diversification into Food Delivery

ShopeeFood is an extension of Shopee’s existing online payment system, ShopeePay, which allows users to make secure and convenient transactions within the Shopee app. With the extended service of

ShopeeFood, users can now conveniently order food from their favorite restaurants and pay for it using the same app.

Shopee’s established user base and infrastructure make the transition into the food delivery market a logical step. Additionally,

ShopeeFood aims to expand its services beyond food delivery.

The company has ventured into the grocery shopping market, allowing users to conveniently order groceries and have them delivered to their doorstep. By diversifying its services, Shopee aims to provide users with a one-stop platform for all their daily needs.

Challenges and Potential of



ShopeeFood has immense potential, it also faces challenges in a highly competitive market. One of the main challenges is achieving market coverage and forging partnerships with a wide range of restaurants.


Foodpanda, and other existing food delivery services already have an extensive network of partner restaurants. To compete effectively,

ShopeeFood needs to establish partnerships with a similar variety of restaurants to offer users a wide selection of options.

Another challenge for

ShopeeFood is ensuring fast and reliable delivery. Customers have grown accustomed to quick delivery times, and any delays or issues could lead to dissatisfaction.

ShopeeFood needs to invest in efficient logistics and delivery systems to fulfill orders promptly and maintain customer satisfaction. Initially,

ShopeeFood may face some losses as it invests in infrastructure and marketing to establish itself in the food delivery market.

However, given Shopee’s existing user base and promotion capabilities, the potential for growth in the food and grocery delivery sector is significant. By leveraging its existing infrastructure and user base,

ShopeeFood can quickly gain traction and become a formidable competitor in the market.


BeCar is a ride-hailing platform based in Vietnam that offers an affordable and convenient transportation solution to users. The company partners with taxi operators, allowing users to request rides from traditional taxis through the

BeCar app.

In this section, we will explore

BeCar’s ride-hailing and delivery services and discuss its growth and future plans. Ride-Hailing and Delivery Services of


BeCar differentiates itself from other ride-hailing platforms by partnering with established taxi operators. This partnership allows

BeCar to tap into the existing taxi network and offer users a wide coverage area, ensuring reliable transportation services across different cities in Vietnam.

BeCar’s low-cost services have appealed to many customers, especially those looking for affordable transportation options. The ability to request rides from traditional taxis not only benefits users but also provides taxi drivers with additional opportunities to earn income in the face of increasing competition from ride-hailing services.

In addition to ride-hailing,

BeCar has expanded its services to include delivery. Users can request a delivery service through the app, allowing for the transportation of goods and packages conveniently.

This expansion into the delivery market aligns with the growing demand for efficient and reliable delivery services in Vietnam. Growth and Future Plans of


BeCar has been steadily gaining market share in Vietnam, aided by its affordable services and wide coverage. The company’s revenue has been growing as more users turn to the platform for their transportation needs.


BeCar continues to expand and improve its services, it is predicted to see further revenue growth in the coming years. To further fuel its growth,

BeCar has outlined plans for market expansion.

The company aims to expand its services to other cities in Vietnam, reaching more customers and increasing its market share in the transportation industry. By capturing more territories and establishing a strong presence,

BeCar can solidify its position as a key player in the ride-hailing market in Vietnam.


Shopee’s foray into the food delivery market with

ShopeeFood showcases the company’s commitment to offering a comprehensive platform for all consumer needs. With its existing user base and payment infrastructure,

ShopeeFood has the potential to become a significant player in the food and grocery delivery space within Southeast Asia.


BeCar’s partnership with taxi operators and its expansion into delivery services have positioned the company as a competitive ride-hailing platform in Vietnam. Both companies display significant potential for growth and have embraced diversification to meet the changing demands of Southeast Asian consumers.


Deliveroo is a popular food delivery service that connects customers with restaurant partners through an innovative platform. The company utilizes a network of self-employed riders to deliver orders from participating restaurants to customers’ doorsteps.

In this section, we will delve into the food delivery and expansion efforts of

Deliveroo, as well as examine its financial performance. Food Delivery and Expansion of


Deliveroo focuses on efficient and reliable food delivery, offering customers a wide range of restaurant options to choose from. The company’s platform allows users to browse menus, place orders, and track their deliveries in real-time.

This convenience has made

Deliveroo a popular choice for busy individuals and those who prefer restaurant-quality meals in the comfort of their own homes. As part of its expansion strategy,

Deliveroo has introduced innovative initiatives to enhance customer experience.

One notable feature is the

Deliveroo Plus subscription service, which offers unlimited free delivery for a monthly fee. This has proven to be appealing to frequent users, as it provides substantial savings on delivery fees.

Recognizing the increasing demand for grocery shopping,

Deliveroo has also expanded its services to include groceries. Customers can conveniently order groceries through the app and have them delivered to their doorstep along with their food orders.

This expansion is in response to changing consumer needs and positions

Deliveroo as a one-stop solution for both food and grocery delivery. Financial Performance of


In recent years,

Deliveroo has made significant efforts to improve its financial performance.

The company has worked towards reducing its losses as it aims to achieve profitability in the long run. By implementing cost-saving measures and optimizing operational efficiency,

Deliveroo has successfully reduced its losses over time.

Deliveroo is also eyeing an initial public offering (IPO) as part of its growth strategy. Going public would provide the company with additional capital to support its expansion plans and invest in technological advancements.


Deliveroo continues to expand both its user base and restaurant partnerships, its revenue is expected to experience significant growth, cementing the company’s position as a key player in the food delivery industry.

AirAsia Food

AirAsia Food is a food delivery service that operates as a subsidiary of AirAsia, a leading low-cost airline in Southeast Asia. Leveraging its extensive network and infrastructure,

AirAsia Food offers customers a convenient way to order food through its platform.

In this section, we will explore the introduction and services of

AirAsia Food, as well as discuss its investment and growth.and Services of

AirAsia Food

As part of AirAsia’s diversification strategy,

AirAsia Food entered the food delivery market to capitalize on the growing demand for online food ordering. The company aims to provide customers with a seamless and hassle-free food delivery experience.

One of the distinctive aspects of

AirAsia Food is its zero-commission model, which benefits both customers and restaurant partners. By waiving commissions,

AirAsia Food can offer competitive prices to customers while providing an attractive, cost-effective platform for restaurants.

To ensure a wide variety of food options,

AirAsia Food has entered into partnerships with numerous restaurants, ranging from local eateries to popular chains. This diverse portfolio of restaurant partners enhances the platform’s range of cuisines and allows customers to choose from a vast selection of food.

Investment and Growth of

AirAsia Food

AirAsia Food has been able to fuel its growth through strategic investments. The company secured funding through a capital injection, allowing it to expand its operations and enhance its technological capabilities.


AirAsia Food engaged in a stock swap with an existing platform, further strengthening its position in the food delivery market. The investments have had a positive impact on

AirAsia Food’s user base and financial performance.

The platform has experienced steady growth in terms of both customer adoption and revenue generation. By leveraging AirAsia’s brand recognition and customer base, the company has been able to swiftly establish a foothold in the food delivery market.

To further drive its growth,

AirAsia Food plans to expand its operations to other markets within Southeast Asia. It aims to capitalize on the increasing demand for food delivery services and replicate its success in new territories.

This planned expansion positions

AirAsia Food as a significant competitor in the food delivery industry throughout the region.


Deliveroo and

AirAsia Food exemplify the fast-paced growth and innovation in the food delivery industry in Southeast Asia.

Deliveroo continues to expand its services, offering customers a comprehensive platform for convenient and reliable food and grocery delivery.

With efforts to reduce losses and prepare for an IPO,

Deliveroo is poised for significant financial growth.

AirAsia Food, as a subsidiary of AirAsia, benefits from the airline’s extensive network and brand recognition. By offering a zero-commission model and fostering partnerships with a wide range of restaurants,

AirAsia Food has gained momentum and established itself as a prominent player in the food delivery market.

As the company continues to invest and expand into new markets, it is projected to experience exponential growth and become a formidable competitor in the industry.


inDriver is a ride-hailing app that originated in Yakutsk, a city in Siberia, Russia. What sets

inDriver apart from other ride-hailing platforms is its unique business model, which incorporates a bidding system and user-generated prices.

In this section, we will explore the origin and business model of

inDriver, as well as its growth and global operations. Origin and Unique Business Model of


inDriver was founded in 2012 in Yakutsk, where extreme weather conditions and limited transportation options prompted the need for an efficient and affordable ride-hailing service. To address this demand,

inDriver introduced a unique business model that allows users to engage in a bidding process with drivers, where they negotiate and agree on fares.

When requesting a ride through the

inDriver app, users have the option to enter the fare they are willing to pay for the trip. Multiple drivers in the area are notified of the user’s request and the proposed fare.

These drivers then have the opportunity to accept or counteroffer the price. The user can select the driver based on their preferred fare and other factors such as driver ratings and vehicle model.

This user-generated pricing system gives riders more control over the fare they are willing to pay and fosters transparency in the ride-hailing process. Growth and Operations of


Since its inception,

inDriver has experienced significant growth and expanded beyond its initial city of Yakutsk.

The app quickly gained popularity among users who appreciated the transparency and affordability of the bidding system. This positive reception led to the app’s widespread installations across Russia and subsequent global expansion to other countries, including Mexico, Brazil, and several countries in Africa.

To support its growth and operations,

inDriver secured various rounds of funding from investors. This funding has allowed the company to invest in its technology infrastructure, user acquisition, and marketing initiatives.

By implementing innovative features and robust marketing campaigns,

inDriver has successfully increased its user base and solidified its position in the ride-hailing market. Furthermore,

inDriver’s growth and success have been reflected in its valuation.

The company has been valued at several billion dollars, a testament to its rapid growth and potential for further expansion. As part of its global presence,

inDriver collaborates with local drivers and partners in each market it enters.

This strategy allows the company to establish a reliable network of drivers and ensure seamless operations. By working closely with local communities,

inDriver tailors its services to meet the unique transportation needs of each market.


inDriver has emerged as a disruptive force in the ride-hailing industry with its origin in the extreme conditions of Yakutsk and its unique business model. The bidding system and user-generated prices differentiate

inDriver from its competitors, allowing users to have more control over the fares they are willing to pay.

This transparency and affordability have garnered significant user adoption and contributed to the company’s growth. With its installation base, funding, and global operations,

inDriver has shown impressive expansion and solidified its position in the ride-hailing market.

By leveraging its innovative business model and collaborating with local drivers and partners,

inDriver continues to meet the transportation needs of communities in different markets around the world. As the company continues to grow, it will likely shape the ride-hailing industry with its user-centric approach and commitment to providing affordable and reliable transportation services.

In conclusion, this article has highlighted the growth, services, and challenges faced by various prominent players in the Southeast Asian market’s ride-hailing and food delivery sectors. Companies like Grab,


Foodpanda, and

Deliveroo have successfully expanded their services, leveraged innovative strategies, and adapted to changing consumer needs.

The emergence of super apps like Grab and

ShopeeFood showcases the increasing demand for convenient and comprehensive platforms. Meanwhile, the unique business models of

inDriver and

AirAsia Food have disrupted traditional ride-hailing and food delivery systems.

These companies’ successes and challenges illustrate the competitive nature of the market and the importance of continuous innovation, customer-focused approaches, and strategic partnerships. As the industry evolves, one thing remains clear: Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing and food delivery sectors are rapidly transforming, offering consumers greater convenience and shaping the future of transportation and food services in the region.

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