Tuesday 4 February 2020 12:55 pm

Grab buys investment startup as it beefs up financial offering

Softbank-backed startup Grab today said it has acquired retail wealth management startup Bento as the app looks to expand its financial services offering.

The Singapore-based firm said Bento will be rebranded as Grab Invest, and its products will be rolled out in its home market and across southeast Asia in the first half of the year.

Grab, which did not disclose the value of the deal, said the tie-up will enable it to offer wealth management and investment solutions to its users, driver partners and merchant partners.

The company was originally founded as a ride-hailing app, but has expanded its scope to cover services such as food delivery as it looks to become an “app for everything”.

Grab Invest will beef up the app’s financial offering following the launch of its payment, rewards, lending and insurance services.

The company said it aimed to democratise access to retail wealth management products, stating that saving and investment products were “traditionally limited to affluent individuals and institutional investors”.

Philip Chew, head of investments and new businesses at Grab Financial Group, said: “Bento has been recognised as a leading wealth-tech platform and proven to be an industry leader in democratising retail wealth solutions in the region. 

“Now, from within Grab’s everyday app, we will build on our fintech capabilities to transform what is currently an underserved retail wealth sector in southeast Asia to one that is powered by a 24/7 user engagement platform and best-in-class financial models, portfolio management and risk management technologies.”

Bento, which is also based in Singapore, offers services including client onboarding and portfolio construction and rebalancing.

Main image credit: Getty