Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and ed Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and editorial at the Web Summit. She’s interested in all things tech, with a particular fondness for lifestyle and creative tech and the spaces where these intersect. Twitter
Southeast Asia’s GrabTaxi has dropped the word ‘taxi’ from its name after announcing that it will now be offering a corporate service, as well as launching cashless payments.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal about the move, Grab’s CEO Anthony Tan said the company is “not really just an app” but it’s “really all the services when you think about transport.”
In a post unveiling the new name on Facebook, the company said:
Cashless payments will be available first in Singapore, rolling out to Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines in February. It will also become available in in Vietnam and Thailand in the first half of this year.
The business service, which was already being tested, allows users and their employers to pre-book cars and have a payment system in place where rides can be expensed easily.
Grab initially launched in Malaysia with a service that used traditional taxis but has since expanded to six countries in the region. It is now valued at $1 billion, making it a direct competitor for Uber.
Over the past few years, the company has branched out and launched deliveries, motorbike taxis and carpooling services.
Most recently, Lyft announced that it was partnering with Grab and India’s Ola so that users of each app could use the other while traveling. The three companies combined represent a significant alliance and with Grab opening a new office in Seattle, maybe the competition is about to get a little closer to home for Uber.
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