Sunday, April 2, 2017

Grab makes first major acquisition with deal to buy Indonesian fintech startup Kudo

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Grab, Uber’s biggest rival in Southeast Asia, has completed its first major acquisition after it acquired Indonesian startup Kudo to boost its mobile payment platform.

Neither part is giving a figure for the size of the deal, which was first rumored in February. Initial reports at the time suggested Grab would pay over $100 million for Kudo, but two sources close to the company told TechCrunch that price is significantly lower than that but it nonetheless represents a good exit for the company and its investors.

Grab began working on a payments platform — GrabPay — last July, with an initial focus on Indonesia. The company recently announced plans for an R&D center in India devoted to developing its payment push further, and GrabPay is part of a $700 million investment program it recently revealed to develop its position in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy,

Three-year-old Kudo enables people in Indonesia who don’t own a credit card — the large majority of the country — don’t have a bank account or even lack internet access, to buy items online. Initially it used point-of-sale kiosks located in public areas, but it later broadened its focus to support an agent model. The firms claims 400,000 agents across 500 towns in Indonesia.

“The Kudo team will join Grab and the Kudo platform will be integrated with Grab’s existing payments ecosystem. Grab will also support and accelerate the expansion of Kudo’s agent network across Indonesia, and leverage Kudo’s reach to bring more riders, and drivers and GrabPay users onto the Grab platform,” Grab said in a statement.

Finally, Grab has also brought in a dedicated executive to lead GrabPay. Jason Thompson, formerly Managing Director EMEA & Asia for Euronet, will lead the division.

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