Filipinos can now purchase goods from Sea’s ecommerce portal Shopee and have them delivered on the same day by Grab, thanks to a match-up announced by the two companies yesterday.
The partnership points to Grab’s ambitions in Southeast Asia’s growing last-mile logistics market, where a number of tech startups are looking to piggyback on the regional ecommerce boom.
For a limited-time fee of 25 pesos (about US$0.47), the ride-hailing firm’s GrabExpress service will deliver purchases from select Shopee sellers to anywhere in the Metro Manila area between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, from Monday to Saturday.
Shopee said it plans to expand GrabExpress same-day delivery to more merchants, as well as to brands using its B2C portal Shopee Mall in the coming months.
Grab’s next challenge
Grab has made it clear that it sees delivery and logistics as a key growth opportunity. Though still primarily known for ride-hailing, it’s already dabbled in these areas, having offered on-demand pick-up and delivery in Indonesia for some time.
Last month, it extended its on-demand food delivery service, GrabFood, to Malaysia and Singapore. This followed Grab’s acquisition of UberEats as part of its buyout of Uber’s Southeast Asian operations earlier in the year.
When Grab CEO Anthony Tan launched Grab Ventures – the company’s startup accelerator and “innovation arm” – earlier this month, logistics was revealed to be one of its four themes, alongside transport, food, and financial services.
However, the Singapore-based firm is stepping into a crowded and highly competitive marketplace. The city-state itself has spawned a number of “last-mile” players that have netted millions in VC funding. Among them is Ninja Van, which raised a record-breaking US$87 million at the start of this year.
Competitors from farther afield include Hong Kong’s GoGoVan – which became the territory’s first unicorn following a merger last year – and Lalamove, which bagged US$100 million in series C funding last October to accelerate its Southeast Asian expansion.
But for smaller, motorcycle-based consignments – which will likely make up most of GrabExpress’ Shopee service in Manila – the biggest foe looks set to be Go-Jek.
Grab’s Indonesian rival has revealed Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines as the target markets for its first international expansion. It’s leading with ride-hailing services initially. But there’s a strong likelihood that its logistics offerings – Go-Food for on-demand food, Go-Mart for groceries, Go-Send for small moto-couriered items, and Go-Box for larger consignments requiring a truck – will follow.
Broader alliance unclear
Grab’s Manila partnership with Shopee may signal wider collaboration between the two companies in the near future.
Shopee’s arch rival, Lazada, has struck up a number of loyalty partnerships with companies in other sectors in an effort to retain customers. Members of Lazada’s LiveUp rewards scheme can enjoy benefits with the likes of Netflix, Foodpanda, and Ofo, among others.
Previously, Uber had been one of LiveUp’s exclusive partners, offering members S$10 (US$7.34) off every 10th Uber ride they made, as well as delivery fee refunds with UberEats.
It wasn’t initially clear what Grab’s takeover of Uber would mean for LiveUp, as Grab had launched its own lifestyle benefits program – Score – in conjunction with Singaporean supermarket chain Fairprice, with the promise of further partners joining later.
However, Lazada decided to trial Grab as a LiveUp partner in the wake of Uber’s exit. Until the pilot ends on June 30, LiveUp members can get discounts on Grab fares.
Should Grab’s LiveUp partnership continue beyond June, it may be difficult for Shopee to justify collaborating with the ride-hailing company in areas where it competes fiercely with Lazada.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Converted from Philippine peso and Singapore dollar. Rate: US$1 = PH₱53.43 = S$1.36
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