Grab has acquired Kudo and will integrate Kudo's online-to-offline (O2O) e-commerce platform with its GrabPay.
The Indonesia-based O2O platform enables unbanked consumers in Indonesia to shop online. It does so by connecting them with online merchants and service providers via its network of over 400,000 agents in 500 towns and cities across the country.
"Combining Kudo's innovative O2O e-commerce 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," said Ming Maa, President of Grab, in a press release.
Besides that, Grab and Kudo will also look at growing the latter's financial services offerings, including insurance and consumer loans.
Grab's acquisition of Kudo is in line with the Grab 4 Indonesia 2020 master plan. Under the plan, Grab will invest US$700 million in Indonesia over the next four years to further develop the country's digital economy by promoting technology innovation, driving technopreneurship in mobile technologies and financial services, and improving access to mobile payments and financing opportunities.
New head of GrabPay
Grab has also appointed Jason Thompson as the new head of its GrabPay. He will be based in Singapore and oversee the development of payment technologies.
"I'm excited at the prospect of building our payments business from the ground up. A large portion of Southeast Asia's 620 million people remain unbanked and continue to use cash - a costly and unsafe way to pay. With GrabPay, we have an incredible opportunity to provide a safe, affordable and convenient mobile payments solution for people across the region," said Thompson, Head of GrabPay.
Before joining Grab, Thompson served as the Managing Director of Euronet in Asia and in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). In that role, he led the company's electronic payment subsidiaries, and developed e-pay services to a full service provider.
"It's a pleasure to have Jason join Grab and lead this pivotal business for us. Not only does Jason bring deep expertise in the online and O2O payment space, he's also a seasoned leader with experience in building teams of payment experts. We will need that expertise as we continue on our mission to change the way people travel and pay in Southeast Asia," said Anthony Tan, Co-Founder and CEO of Grab.