CNBC Disruptor 50

16. Grab

Founders: Anthony Tan (CEO), Tan Hooi Ling
Launched: 2012
Headquarters: Singapore
Funding:
 $10.3 billion (PitchBook)
Valuation: $14.9 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
 AI, facial recognition, machine learning
Industry:
 Public transportation, taxi and limousine services, food delivery, payments and financial services
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 3 (No. 4 in 2019)

George Kavallines

There's an emerging group of companies calling themselves "super app" platforms, and Grab is among them. This Southeast Asian company delivers an array of digital services such as transportation, food delivery, hotel bookings, online banking, mobile payments and insurance services from its app — thus the "super app" title — serving more than 187 million users in over 330 cities across eight countries.

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In January it acquired Bento, a Singapore-based digital financial advisory firm, and rebranded it as GrabInvest to offer retail wealth-management solutions through the Grab app. Late last year it launched the GrabPay card, Asia's first numberless card, powered by Mastercard. The card is available on the Grab platform and gives users immediate access to any online or offline merchant that accepts Mastercard worldwide.

As the company, backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, expands and more users try Grab for the first time, it is having a substantial impact on the region. Grab claims that about 21% of its drivers did not work prior to joining the platform and that about 1.7 million micro-entrepreneurs using Grab opened their first bank account.

To meet the demands resulting from the pandemic, Grab began expanding its GrabMart and GrabAssistant services to new markets so that essential items and groceries can be shifted to areas of greatest need. The company also has shifted its ride-hailing drivers to deliver food and parcels during the crisis.

A look back at the CNBC Disruptor 50: 8 years, 209 companies