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Grab taps into tech talent in Vietnam with new R&D centre in Ho Chi Minh City

  • Doubles the number of R&D centres from three to six in one quarter
  • Plans to add more than 800 new jobs in the next two years across 6 R&D centres worldwide

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 15 March 2017 Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading technology company, today announces it will open a Research and Development (R&D) centre in Ho Chi Minh City. Grab aims to capitalise on the thriving pool of engineering talent in Vietnam. The Ho Chi Minh City R&D centre’s engineers will, tap into their local expertise to create in-app user experiences tailored to the users in Vietnam, as well as enhance the experiences for users across the region.

“The opening of the R&D centre here is a nod to Vietnam emerging as one of the hot spots for tech talent in the region. At Grab, we are focused on solving the toughest local problems through technology. Southeast Asia is developing at a breakneck pace and we have an unprecedented opportunity to deliver a platform that caters to the region’s mobile-first environment and infrastructural needs. Addressing such challenges requires a combination of deep local understanding and best-in-class engineering. Our philosophy is to develop our highly localised products in the countries where our consumers live, while tapping into the best specialised tech talent around the world to enhance the user experience and efficiency and effectiveness of our platform,” Jerry Lim, Country Head, Grab Vietnam, said.

The opening of the Ho Chi Minh City centre, fits in a broader regional investment for Grab, which today announced that it has opened two new R&D centres, including the centre in Ho Chi Minh City, significantly expanding its global R&D capabilities and doubling its number of R&D centres from three to six in the last quarter. In order to keep pace with Grab’s rapid growth, Grab also announced that it will be adding more than 800 new R&D jobs in the next two years across Grab’s six R&D centres in Beijing, Bangalore, Jakarta, Vietnam, Singapore and Seattle.

The expansion will support Grab’s rapidly growing multi-modal transport platform and proprietary payments system across Southeast Asia, which includes the launch of three new transport services in the last quarter, GrabShare, GrabCoach and GrabShuttle, as well as the rollout of GrabRewards, a customer loyalty programme.

Today, Grab operates in 39 cities across 6 countries, with over 710,000 drivers in its network.  With over 36 million mobile downloads of the Grab app to date, Grab has 95% market share of third-party taxi-hailing apps and more than 50% market share in private cars in the markets in which it operates.

Below are additional details of Grab’s plans to expand its R&D capabilities:

  • Grab’s new R&D centre in India will be located on Indira Nagar, in the heart of Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley. The new centre will house up to 200 talented engineers, who will focus on developing new payments technologies for GrabPay, Grab’s digital payments platform, that will deepen financial inclusion and increase access to mobile payments across Southeast Asia. Grab has made two early hires, Raghuram Trikutam, the Head of Engineering, Mobile Payments and Ruchika Sharma, Head of Human Resources.
  • Grab Singapore, which started in a 4,500 square foot office in April 2015, will move to a larger office space of almost 100,000 square feet in Singapore’s Central Business District. Grab Singapore is Grab’s largest R&D centre and will continue to drive development of the app based on local market research, and introduce new services and features that improve the user experience.
  • Following its recent one-year anniversary in January, Grab’s Seattle office will be expanding to a larger office of 6,500 square feet in Columbia Center, located in Seattle’s central business district, which will provide space for 60 engineers. Led by Microsoft veteran Raman Narayanan, the Seattle team has developed the technology behind one of the company’s key products, GrabShare, Grab’s private carpooling service, as well as enhancements around user trust and data management.

As Grab develops its products, it leverages a model of distributed engineering teams to access specific sets of expertise in each of its R&D centres around the world, such as machine learning, predictive data analytics, mobile-first technology, and consumer-focused user experience.

“Grab has an agile and entrepreneurial work culture, and our engineers are working on new products at the forefront of global transportation and payments. We welcome talented engineers looking to be a part of a customer-focused company and apply top-tier skills to complex, real-world issues. Most importantly, Grab believes in leveraging technology to improve people’s lives; our team’s talents are used to develop impactful solutions that enable people across Southeast Asia to benefit from the digital economy every day,” Lim added.

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