Programmatic Lunch

Asian taxi app Grab acquires payments firm Kudo as part of $700m investment in Indonesia

Alex Spencer

Southeast Asian taxi-hailing app Grab has acquired Kudo, an Indonesian online-to-offline eCommerce platform, to expand its presence in the country.

Once the deal has closed, Kudo's offering – which makes it possible for unbanked Indonesians to make online purchases and trajnsactions – will be rolled into the GrabPay mobile payments platform.

Grab intends to expand the 400,000-strong network of agents which accept Kudo payments, and grow its financial services offering, including insurance and consumer loans. It's also hoping to bring more riders and drivers onto the Grab platform, particuarly in the the smaller cities and rural areas where Kudo has a stronger presence than its own urban-focused offering.

The amount Grab paid for Kudo is currently undisclosed, but a Reuters report last month on the then-rumoured acquisition gave it a pricetag of over $100m (£80m).

The deal is the first step in the ‘Grab 4 Indonesia’ initiative, which has committed $700m over the next four years to help develop the country's digital economy, and expand Grab's presence.

“Kudo is revolutionising how consumers in Indonesia pay for goods and services, and we are very pleased to welcome them to the Grab family,” said Grab president Ming Maa. “Combining Kudo’s innovative O2O ecommerce solution and extensive agent network with GrabPay and Grab’s massive and active customer base will advance our mission of providing millions of people across Indonesia with increased access to convenient cashless payments and new income opportunities, while also unlocking compelling new ways to boost online spending.”

Kudo was founded in July 2014 by Albert Lucius, a former product engineer at Apple, and Agung Nugroho.

“Given that GrabPay is already one of the most widely-used payments platforms in Indonesia, this acquisition creates immediate synergies with our existing business,” said Lucius.