Grab has acquired Bento Invest, a Singapore-based robo-advisory start-up. This acquisition will enable the technology giant to venture into the retail wealth management industry, offering relevant digital solutions to its network of users and partners via the Grab app.
Following this, Bento will be rebranded as GrabInvest, serving as the fifth business vertical under Grab’s financial services arm, Grab Financial Group. The other verticals include GrabPay, GrabRewards, GrabFinance, and GrabInsure.
GrabInvest essentially aims to tackle the general public’s lack of access to affordable wealth management products and retirement planning solutions.
“The launch of GrabInvest brings us a step closer to democratising access to affordable financial solutions that will help them achieve the financial stability they need well into their retirement years,” said the senior managing director of Grab Financial Group, Reuben Lai.
GrabInvest hopes to achieve its goal through the adoption of a low-cost model to keep operational expenses to a minimum, and by introducing the services on a familiar platform. It will also prioritise transparency with its policy of zero hidden fees, as well as abide by the consumer protection standards as outlined by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
While the new business vertical has its eye set on the Southeast Asia market, it will focus on Singapore as its first market, launching its products in the first half of year 2020.
Grab has been aggressively expanding in in the financial services space in recent years, and is currently vying for one of Singapore’s two digital full bank licences. It is rumoured to be interested in bidding for one of Malaysia’s five digital banking licence.