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Startups

Grab expands finance business to boost profitability before IPO

Ride-hailer ‘studying closely’ opportunity for Singapore digital bank license

Grab claims its app has been downloaded over 160 million times. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

SINGAPORE -- Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing operator Grab is expanding its financial services arm and considering applying for a banking license in Singapore as it seeks to boost profitability before a future IPO.

Reuben Lai, head of Grab Financial Group, told the Nikkei Asian Review that the company was looking at at the opportunities opened up by the city state's announcement on Friday that it planned to grant licenses for digital banks in a major shake up of its financial sector.

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