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Grab Philippines launches food delivery service, plans to offer financial services

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REUTERS

By Nickky F.P. de Guzman, Reporter

GRAB Philippines on Thursday launched an on-demand food delivery service in key cities in Metro Manila, as part of the company’s vision to become a “everyday app” for Filipino consumers.

GrabFood is available to deliver meals from 600 food establishment partners in Makati, Bonifacio Global City, Ortigas, Quezon City, San Juan, and Mandaluyong, between 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“GrabFood is the next major step in our move to serve the daily needs of consumers. Food delivery is a natural extension of our transport offerings… With the expansion of GrabFood across the region, we are working with local merchants and delivery partners to deliver the best of Manila’s kitchens to the doorsteps of our consumers,” Brian P. Cu, Grab Philippines country manager, said in a statement.

The service was first launched in Jakarta in 2016 and was beta-tested in Bangkok in 2017.

There is no minimum order value when using GrabFood, and consumers pay cash when their order is delivered.

GrabFood, Mr. Cu said, is part of Grab’s vision to become an “everyday app” which is used not just for booking transport services, but also for on-demand food delivery, financial services, and cashless payments, among others.

“Everything is in paces. We have the components in the app already. We’re having a nice interface to be able to tie in all the components together,” he said.

Grab Philippines is also planning to roll out financial services for both passengers and drivers, although there is no timeline yet. For instance, the driver-partners can build credit histories to qualify them for loans and insurance in the future.

“We are trying to get a license from BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) for e-money. We’re also piloting micro-loans with our drivers based on their driving behaviors,” said Mr. Cu.

Asked if Grab’s foray into other services is a result of the growing competition among transport network companies (TNCs), Mr. Cu said, “It is less of differentiation, but more of vision of what Grab wants to become. [It is a] singular focus on what consumers need and wants.”

However, Grab’s goal to become an everyday app may face challenges in the Philippines, which is far from becoming a smart city and slow Internet speed remains a concern.

“Even when we started GrabTaxi people thought we’re ahead of our time. And we were. But we are lucky to have strong investors behind us. But we do have some runways to learn and reiterate the app to fit services. Allow adaptions to take place, both drivers and passengers, and let them catch up. It’s always a process of reiterating: We launch, we push further and if we fail, we reiterate,” said Mr. Cu.

Aside from Metro Manila, Grab Philippines also operates Baguio, Pampanga, Bacolod, Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Balanga.