Hotel bookings, video streaming coming to Grab soon

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 08 2019 04:02 PM

Grab's headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia. ABS CBN News

JAKARTA - Grab users will soon be able to book hotels and stream videos within the app as the platform, which started as a ride-hailing service, is set to launch new offerings this year.

Starting May 9, users in the Philippines will be able to book hotel rooms from Agoda.com and Booking.com through Grab's "Hotels" service. 

This would tap the demand from the booming tourism in Southeast Asia, said Grab's product and design group head Jerald Singh.

Jerald Singh, head of Grab's product and design group, announces the new services that will available on the platform. ABS-CBN News

Outbound tourism in Southeast Asia is expected to hit $115 billion by 2028, Singh said.

"The way we're thinking about it is the value we're bringing to the rest of the ecosystem... What it does is it allows us to chain these services together," Singh told reporters at Grab's headquarters here.

Agoda and Booking have the "largest catalog" of hotels in Southeast Asia. Booking through Grab will offer customers "seamless" services connection from transport, food delivery and now including room reservations, he said.

Handout

On-demand video streaming will also be available in the app's "Videos" tab by the second quarter this year. Grab tapped Hooq to provide 8,000 hours of international and local content for consumers.

It will cater to the streaming demand in Southeast Asia where 80 percent of the population watch videos online, Singh said.

Electric scooters and ticketing services will also roll out before the end of the year. Grab's mobile wallet GrabPay recently launched its partnership with SM Cinema for online and QR payment of movie passes.

Silicon Valley Vibe

Singh said Grab would have 500 partners by the end of 2019 to provide more services while helping startups grow.

Its Indonesian mobile payment partner OVO, for example, grew 400 percent after partnering with Grab in 2018 said head of press relations Sinta Setyaningsih.

"There is no other place in the world I'd rather be right now if I am into technology other than Southeast Asia," Singh said.

"There's this energy here that, you know, we used to have that in Silicon Valley. There's this great energy here, they're building amazing products... What we're doing is working and helping them and they're helping us," he added. 

Singh said these partnerships were not just marketing strategies but services that change people's lives through jobs and income generation.