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Uber rival Grab opens two R&D centres, announces plans to add 800 developer jobs

Tyrone Stewart

Grab, Uber’s Southeast Asian ride-hailing rival, has opened two research and development (R&D) centres and has also announced plans to add more than 800 developer jobs over the next two years.

The two R&D centres have been opened in Bengaluru (Bangalore), India and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – taking Grab’s number of centres around the world up to six by joining centres in Beijing, Jakarta, Singapore and Seattle. The 800 jobs will be added across all of Grab’s centres.

Grab boasts 710,000 drivers and 36m mobile downloads in 39 cities across six countries. The expansion is aimed at supporting its growth prospects in Asia.

“At Grab, we are focused on solving the toughest local problems through technology,” said Tan Hooi Ling, co-founder of Grab. “Southeast Asia is developing at a breakneck pace and we have an unprecedented opportunity to deliver a platform that caters to the region’s mobile-first environment and infrastructural needs.”

Grab’s R&D centres focus on machine learning, predictive data analytics, mobile-first technology, and user experience.

Specifically, the Bengaluru centre will focus on developing payment technologies and its Ho Chi Min City centre will target country specific user experiences, as well as user experiences across the region.

Meanwhile, it also announced that it will be moving its Singapore centre to an office space of ‘almost 100,000 square feet’ in the country’s central business district – as well as moving its Seattle office to a 6,500 square feet space in the Columbia Centre.