Press Centre


Grab Celebrates Fifth Anniversary and Significant User Milestones

  • 3x growth in last year to 45 million downloads, and up to 2.5 million daily rides
  • Has provided higher incomes for nearly 1 million drivers and reduced travel time in half across Southeast Asia since founding
  • Adds GrabNow, New Service to Digitise Street Hailing

MALAYSIA, 6 June 2017 – Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading technology company, celebrated  its fifth year milestone on 5 June and released the ‘Moving SEA Together’ report, which highlights the company’s tremendous growth and impact on lives across Southeast Asia. By driving with Grab, more than 930,000 drivers earn one-third more on average. Grab has also reduced travel time in half for its passengers by providing more convenient transport options.

Today, Grab has up to 2.5 million rides daily, making it the largest ride-hailing platform and the preferred app that the most drivers and passengers use in Southeast Asia. Grab is in 55 cities across Southeast Asia, and the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 45 million devices, triple the number from June last year.

Grab is building a consumer platform that focuses on the most important everyday services of transport and mobile payments. GrabPay, its proprietary mobile payments solution, is even outpacing the exponential growth experienced by Grab’s transport business. The GrabPay user base is projected to double every quarter until the end of 2017. GrabPay Credits, which is a cashless top-up payments option, has grown more than 80% month-on-month since its launch in December 2016, testament to consumer trust in Grab’s mobile payments platform.

“As Grab’s business has grown, the scale of problems we are solving has grown with it. We are an active contributor to solving Southeast Asia’s fundamental issues: congestion, jobs, trust in and access to the digital economy. These issues affect SEA’s long-term economic growth and Grab is very much committed to investing in our region. The only way to make meaningful long-term impact is to be laser focused on the important, everyday services to consumers: a more efficient transport network and wider access to cashless payments.

The ‘Moving SEA Together’ report is so meaningful to my co-founder Ling and I, because it affirms our belief that a homegrown startup can make a difference in the world, as long as we focus on doing the right thing. Every decision we make is guided by how best we can solve a local problem, and how it will benefit people and the wider community. We’ve been blessed with help from so many people – fellow Grabbers, drivers, agents, consumers and investors – who put their faith in us, and encouraged us to always work towards big audacious goals. You can call us crazy, but perhaps Grab is a place for people who believe that what they do will improve lives through technology,” said Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, Grab.

Looking beyond its anniversary, Grab is continuing to innovate its business and announced GrabNow, a new service which digitises the street hailing experience. To be available first in Jakarta, passengers can flag down a GrabBike driver on the street, book a ride with the same driver immediately and pay via the Grab app. This allows passengers to enjoy the best of both worlds – the immediacy of flagging and the benefits of the Grab platform, including best-in-class safety standards, upfront fixed fares and GrabRewards loyalty points. Grab will also expand its telematics and GrabChat (first of its kind in ride hailing) messaging features to keep improving the user experience.

Report Findings: Five Years of Moving SEA Together

The ‘Moving SEA Together’ report shows how Grab has built a track record of solving local problems over the last five years, and changed its drivers’ and passengers’ lives in meaningful ways.

  1. Making commuting easier and safer for passengers

On average, Grab commuters reach their destinations in less than half the time (52% reduction in travel time on average) compared to public transport options in their cities. The greatest time-savings come from the Philippines (70% reduction in travel times) and Indonesia (64%), with both countries having thriving – yet highly congested – capital cities. With Grab’s new GrabNow service, passengers can shave even more time off their commute.

Grab has also made commuting safer for its millions of passengers by consistently raising the bar for safety in the ride-hailing space. Grab traffic accident rates are on average 5 times lower than the country average, with those numbers jumping up to 6 times safer in Vietnam and Malaysia. This focus on making transport more convenient and safer in SEA’s rapidly developing cities has resonated with people, with the number of Grab app downloads growing 360% year-on-year since 2013.

  1. Improving drivers’ earning potential

Grab driver-partners earn on average one-third (32%) more on a per hour basis compared to average worker wages across all of Grab’s markets. Driver-partner incomes have been strongest in Vietnam (55% more than average wages), Malaysia (48%) and the Philippines (35%). With 70% of Southeast Asians still lacking basic internet access[1], the Grab app with Grab micro financed phones made it possible for many driver-partners to first experience the power of the internet – bridging the digital divide. Grab has assisted in opening bank accounts for more than two-thirds of its driver-partners (640,000 people), introducing them to banking and other financial services for the very first time in their lives.

Nearly 1 million driver partners (more than 930,000) now rely on the Grab platform for income to their families. The number of drivers has grown 340% year-on-year since 2013. In Indonesia, year-on-year growth stands at a whopping 574%.

  1. Developing a more efficient transport network

Increasingly, Grab is broadening its services to new modes of transportation that cater to moving groups of people together, such as carpooling options which bring down fares of point-to-point travel. These options will be key to solving issues of congestion and pollution in Southeast Asia’s megacities. Its carpooling options GrabShare and GrabHitch have already started easing congestion and reducing air pollution. Grab saves an estimated almost 3.2 million kilograms in carbon emissions every year, by offering carpooling options and further optimising our booking system. This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 emitted by desk lights for 9,268 children to study in a year – and that’s assuming they keep the lights on 24/7!

Solving Local Problems Important to Our Drivers and Consumers

“Grab’s business is evolving; we have not only re-defined what people traditionally think ride-hailing is, but are building a consumer platform that focuses on the most important everyday services – transport and mobile payments. We will always develop solutions for our driver partners, agent partners, and consumers first. We are the market leader in Southeast Asia because 1) we out-innovate – particularly in business model innovation, where we find solutions to improve existing services and work with governments to introduce effective new ways of serving the public; and 2) we out-execute – we have passionate local teams in every country who know the local problems inside-out,” added Anthony Tan.

Grab is making the driving experience safer by expanding its telematics programme.

First launched to reduce speeding, Grab’s telematics initiative tracked whether drivers were going above the speed limits of the roads in their countries. After sending reminders to drivers who were speeding, there was a 35% reduction in speeding incidences across Southeast Asia.

Starting today, the Grab driver app will not only monitor speeding, but also the following indicators of safe driving behaviour: hard braking, sudden acceleration and dangerous swerving. With a combination of machine learning and predictive analytics, Grab’s telematics will identify rides that exhibit dangerous driving behaviour and then present drivers with weekly reports of their safety scores. The enhanced telematics programme has launched in Singapore, and will be progressively rolled out to other countries in the region.

Grab is further enhancing its in-app messaging feature, GrabChat.

Designed for Southeast Asian users who love and actively use messaging services, GrabChat has been warmly received by Grab’s users, with passengers and drivers having exchanged more than 100 million messages since its launch in October 2016. GrabChat is one of many examples of Grab’s philosophy of creating solutions – no matter how simple – that have meaningful impact on users’ lives. 8 in 10 passengers cancel less when they use GrabChat, as they can easily inform their driver on where they are using template messages like “I’m here” or “Ok coming over now”.

Grab has also rolled out auto-translation of template messages in 5 languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Simplified Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese) from today, to cater to regional travellers. 80% of all GrabChat messages already use the template text messages, which ensures safe, one-tap texting for drivers.

– END –

[1] Google and Temasek (2016), E-conomy SEA: Unlocking the $200 billion digital opportunity in Southeast Asia.

Visit our country press centres

Media Inquiries

Contact the Grab media team

Follow us on Grab social channels

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

Malaysians saved over RM27 Million on GrabFood!

GrabFood users across Malaysia have saved over RM27 million in 2023 thus far, just by opting for Saver delivery

Tech & Product

Grab Beta Launches GrabRewards to Make Rides Even More Rewarding

Southeast Asia’s first regional passenger loyalty programme for ride-hailing beta launched across all region

Tech & Product


In-app messaging platform specifically designed to improve Grab’s passenger ride experience for a quicker pickup while maintaining safety for drivers