Business

Grab buys Indonesian start-up

SINGAPORE: South-east Asian ride-hailing firm Grab yesterday said it has agreed to buy Indonesian online payment start-up Kudo, marking the first investment under a recently-announced plan to commit US$700 million (S$977.3m) to its largest market.

Grab did not disclose the deal value. Reuters in February reported Grab's plan to buy Kudo for over US$100 million, citing a person close to the matter.

Grab, the main South-east Asian rival of Uber, said the deal would come under the US$700 million it has committed to invest in Indonesia over the next four years.

Founded in 2014, Kudo helps consumers with no bank accounts and based in small towns and cities make online payments through its agents.

Kudo in the statement said the acquisition created immediate synergies with its existing business.

The two firms also plan to explore opportunities to increase the types of financial services that Kudo could offer, including insurance and consumer loans, said Grab.

Upon closing the deal, the Kudo team and platform will be integrated with Grab's online payment service GrabPay.

In a separate statement, Grab said it has hired Jason Thompson as head of GrabPay to be based in Singapore. - REUTERS

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