Jakarta. Online ride-hailing service Grab Indonesia has opened a research and development center in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, as part of the company's $700 million investment plan in Southeast Asia's largest economy by 2020, an executive said on Thursday (18/05).
"We are committed to doing our part by building real tech capabilities in Indonesia," Grab Indonesia managing director Ridzki Kramadibrata said in a statement.
In addition to opening its new research and development center in the capital, Grab also acquired the local online payment startup Kudo as part of its four-year investment plan.
The 4,500 square meter facility is located within Kudo's existing complex in Kebayoran Baru and will house 200 engineers focused on developing the company's online app, as well as its mobile payment platform, GrabPay.
The Kebayoran Baru facility is Grab's sixth around the world, including similar research and development centers in Bangalore, India; Beijing, China; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Seattle, United States; and Singapore.
"Opening the [Kebayoran Baru] center here is a testament to the fact that Indonesian engineers are valuable in contributing to the country's growth as one of the leading information technology players in the region," Communications and Information Technology Minister Rudiantara said recently.
Grab announced in April that it agreed to purchase Kudo for an undisclosed amount in a bid to improve Grab's e-payment services.
"Working with Grab is exactly what we had hoped for as an Indonesian founder," said Albert Lucius, Kudo's chief executive and co-founder.
"We've partnered with a company who shares our same passion for helping Indonesians benefit from the growing digital economy through innovations made here, in our country."
Grab said in the statement that the company is ready to start its second phase of its investment plan and will aim to hire as many as five million drivers by 2018 and grow its Indonesian tech workforce to a "few hundred" by the end of 2017.
The app-based ride-hailing service currently employs more than 780,000 drivers and caters to 2.3 million trips daily in the region.
The Jakarta Globe and Grab are both affiliated with the Lippo Group.