In 2011, Anthony Tan, then a Harvard Student, drew out an idea for an Uber-based taxi booking app after a classmate complained about the difficulties of hailing a taxi in Malaysia. Tan eventually drew up a booking service, which he pitched at the 2011 Harvard Business Plan Competition, placing second, which helped him to earn angel investors. The service launched in 2012 as MyTeksi, and quickly expanded as GrabTaxi, and then as Grab. Today, Grab operates in 30 cities throughout Malaysia, Philippines, India, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Grab forced Uber out of the region in 2018 and acquired its local operations. A few months later, it expanded its app to offer its 130 million users not only food delivery and travel booking, but also financial and other services. These efforts helped Grab hit 2 billion in revenue in 2018 and attract more than $3 billion in fresh funding to expand. Later this year, it’ll add healthcare services from Ping An, the Chinese digital health giant.
Grab is fighting with another startup, Go-Jek, in parts of Southeast Asia. In its effort to win, Grab has opted to partner with the likes of Toyota, Microsoft, and Mastercard rather than build everything itself. “We can be smarter and faster by making the platform more open,” says Tan.
In May 2014, GrabTaxi said it had 1.2 million downloads. At around June 2013, it claimed to be doing one booking every eight seconds, or 10,000 a day, representing sixteen-fold growth within a year. In November 2017, Grab reached one billion rides with 66 concurrent rides in one second across seven countries, occupying 97% market share in the third-party taxi hailing market and 72% in the private vehicle hailing market. The company also claimed to have two million driving partners, 68 million mobile app downloads, and 3.5 million daily rides. In December 2018, Grab claimed to have served 920 million kilometers worth of rides to its users that year.
According to fastcompany.com