Singapore’s Grab buys payments firm iKaaz
Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab, which has clocked over a billion rides, on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Bengaluru-based payments solutions provider iKaaz for an undisclosed amount. With the acquisition, the Singapore-based company plans to strengthen its mobile payments platform. According to a press release from Grab, the move will also help it strengthen the R&D centre in India. Grab, which competes with US-based Uber, had opened an R&D centre in Bengaluru in March last year. It serves as a centre of excellence for payments platforms. The Bengaluru R&D centre currently has 75 engineers and Grab plans to hire another 200 before the end of 2018. “The rich functionality of iKaaz’ mobile payments platform and its experienced leadership team will accelerate feature development and partner integration of GrabPay, Grab’s payments platform,” the company said in a press release. “iKaaz’ technology has served merchants and partners across different industries and in different settings, from parking lots and airports to retail stores and hotels. This rich set of offline payments features offer the flexibility needed to tailor our GrabPay platform to each country and partner in southeast Asia,” said Jason Thompson, managing director, GrabPay southeast Asia.
Grab currently offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. Grab is also expanding across all the markets in southeast Asia to become the region’s universal payments platform. Launched in 2014, iKaaz’ technology was built to work in challenging internet conditions and enables effortless and fast payments for thousands of merchants. iKaaz’ technology stack encompasses innovations such as NFC, QR-code, audio-based payments as well as bill payments, online payments and P2P. “By partnering with Grab, we now have an opportunity to see how our tech can improve lives of southeast Asia’s more than 620 million people and its growing digital economy,” said Soma Sundaram, founder of iKaaz. The Grab platform already facilitates more than 3.5 million transactions daily and more than a billion transactions per year.