STARTUPS Grab takes over Indonesian startup Kudo to ramp up its mobile payment platform

4 Apr
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By Kajal Joshi, The Tech Portal

Taking into consideration the pace of recent developments, the ride-hailing startup is definitely moving strategically at a tremendous speed. In an announcement today, it revealed that it has inked an agreement to take over O2O e-commerce startup Kudo.

The news has been doing rounds since February and a whopping $100 million was the estimated amount of the deal. However, both the firms have refrained from commenting on the same. Sources close to the Singapore-based cab aggregator told TechCrunch that the price does not touch the $100 million mark and is lower than that. In spite of this, the acquisition comes off a successful exit for the company and its investors. Prior to this deal, Kudo had raised undisclosed seed and Series A rounds fromGREE Ventures, 500 Startups and East Ventures.

Established in 2014, Kudo facilitates online shopping for unbanked consumers residing in Indonesia by connecting them with online merchants and service providers. It boasts a network of over 400K authorized agents across 500 towns and cities in the country.

GrabPay has an unmatched reach across major cities in Indonesia and it aims to complement Kudo’s strong presence across the smaller cities and rural areas.The Singapore-headquartered firm plans to support and accelerate the expansion of Kudo’s agent network while also leveraging its reach to bring more riders, drivers, and GrabPay users onto the Grab platform. In addition,  Grab and Kudo will be seen exploring opportunities to grow the latter’s financial services offering, including insurance and consumer loans.

The deal marks the first investment of Grab’s recently announced ‘Grab 4 Indonesia’ 2020 master plan, a commitment to invest US$700 million in Indonesia over the next four years to further develop its digital economy. Ming Maa, President of Grab, mentioned in an official statement,

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.

Grab is reportedly in process of raising $1.5 billion in a new investment round with SoftBank mulling to infuse about a billion into the company. It competes fiercely against Uber in Southeast Asia, and has been seen expanding its research centers and increase its footprint in the region.