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The uncertain road ahead


Credit: TODAY.

The pandemic is the first crisis for South-east Asia's decade-old start-up ecosystem from which Grab has emerged as a household name and the most valuable firm at over US$14 billion (S$19.2 billion).


Grab says its app has seen a total of 198 million downloads, although it has yet to turn profitable.


As coronavirus measures put the region of 650 million people under lockdown, Grab saw demand eroding for its transport business, but then nearly 150,000 of its drivers switched to becoming delivery men for home-bound customers…


The company, which counts Indonesia as its biggest market and is locked in a fierce competition there with Jakarta-based Gojek, is doubling down on deliveries, with its two-year-old food business overtaking the mature transport division as its biggest segment…


At the beginning of 2020, who would have foretold this?


The next chapter in Singapore transport is, like everything else in these tumultuous times, notoriously hard to predict.