Grab has opened two new R&D centres in Bangalore, India and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 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 its rapid growth, the company also announced it will be adding more than 800 new R&D jobs in the next two years across its 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.
Grab currently operates in 39 cities across six countries, with over 710,000 drivers in its network, and holds 95% market share of third-party taxi-hailing apps and over 50% market share in private cars in the markets it operates, with over 36 million mobile downloads of the app to date.
Grab co-founder Tan Hooi Ling said the company’s philosophy is to develop its localised products in its consumers’ countries while tapping into the best specialised tech talent around the world to enhance the user experience, efficiency and effectiveness of its platform.
“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,” she said, adding that the company is focused on solving tough local problems through technology.
Its new R&D centre in India will be located on Indira Nagar, in the heart of Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley and will house up to 200 talented engineers who will focus on developing new payments technologies for GrabPay, Grab’s digital payments platform, while the new R&D centre in Vietnam will be located in Ho Chi Minh City where local engineers will tap into their country-specific expertise to create in-app user experiences tailored to users in Vietnam as well as enhance the experiences for users across the region.
Meanwhile, 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, and 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.