Grab has rolled out a new enterprise service, GrabMaps to provide more hyperlocal solutions. According to the firm, GrabMaps will allow Grab to tap into the US$1 billion market opportunity in Southeast Asia per year for mapping and location-based services. Grab adds that the service will provide business the opportunity to leverage the same location-based intelligence and technology powering its regional superapp.
GrabMaps touts a community-based approach, leveraging Grab's consumers, merchants, and fleet of driver and delivery partners. GrabMap solutions draw on data from millions of orders and rides served daily, with real-time feedback from partners on road closures, business address changes and more.
Driver and delivery-partners also have the opportunity to contribute to its maps, collecting POIs and other data such as street imagery, street names, traffic signs, among others, for additional income. According to Grab, this gives GrabMaps an edge in accuracy, coverage and freshness while being highly cost-effective.
GrabMaps is also intended to be a B2B solution will offer several services tailored to that. For instance, GrabMaps' Base Map Data will allow companies to license data from Grab, benefiting from map data in Southeast Asia with coverage from capital cities to tier three towns.
Additionally, GrabMaps boasts map-making tools and software-as-a-service, which is an end-to-end stack that enterprise customers can leverage to build their own maps. According to Grab, its proprietary map-making camera, Kartacam, was designed to suit emerging market conditions. As a lower-cost camera that still maintains quality parity with conventional solutions, the brand explained that it is easy to use, even for non-tech savvy operators such as Grab's driver-partner fleet. Kartacam is currently being piloted by partner companies in Paris, Johannesburg, Dubai and Seattle.
In the later part of 2022 and in 2023 respectively, application programming interaface and mobile software development kits are also set to launch. These will allow developers and teams to enhance or build their own applications and geolocation capabilities leveraging GrabMaps technology, such as Grab’s routing, search, traffic and navigation features.
To date, GrabMaps already fully powers Grab services in seven out of the eight countries it operates in. Providing location-based intelligence and services to all Grab verticals in the seven countries, the brand expects to be fully-sufficient with GrabMaps by the third quarter of 2022.
"Grab has always sought to build innovative tech that addresses Southeast Asia’s hyperlocal needs and GrabMaps is a great example of that. The back alleys and narrow side streets common across Southeast Asia cities often don’t show up on conventional maps, but are navigated by our driver and delivery partners every day," Tan Hooi Ling, co-founder of Grab explained.
Tan added that the brand is invested to turn this intelligence into a competitive advantage, allowing Grab to serve its users and partners with a great experience, while driving efficiency and cost-savings for the business. "We’re very proud that soon we will be fully self-powered by our own mapping and location-based technology. Commercialising this technology is another step forward for our young but fast-growing enterprise and new initiatives business," she said.
Philipp Kandal, head of Geo, Grab said: “Grab is the region’s leading superapp, serving a wide range of daily needs for millions of consumers daily, and GrabMaps powers this. Our track record, as well as the unparalleled view we have on Southeast Asia, gives us confidence that GrabMaps can be the best map platform of choice for Southeast Asia.”
Separately, following the consolidation of its financial offerings under the new brand Grabfin, Chris Yeo and Jeffrey Goh, two senior executives from Grab's fintech unit have reportedly stepped down in May. Yeo was the MD, head of GrabPay and GrabRewards and has been with the company for close to six years, according to his LinkedIn, while Goh is the head of Grablink, Grab's payment processing business for two years, his LinkedIn said.
Meanwhile, GrabFin offers everyday financial services that are simple to activate with just a few clicks in-app, as well as enable consumers to choose how they use the product with no lock-in period. According to Grab, the launch of GrabFin represents Grab's commitment to empower Southeast Asia with greater financial access. Following its launch in Singapore and Malaysia in May, the GrabFin brand will be progressively rolled out in other Southeast Asian markets in the coming months.
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