Grab Acquires Robo-Advisory Bento, Rebrands It To GrabInvest
Southeast Asian tech titan Grab announced today that it has acquired Bento Invest, a Singapore-based robo-advisory start-up.
Bento will be rebranded as GrabInvest, and will enable Grab to bring retail wealth management solutions to its users, driver-partners and merchant-partners across the region.
“In Southeast Asia, there is a lack of access to affordable wealth management products and retirement planning solutions for most people,” said Senior Managing Director of Grab Financial Group Reuben Lai.
He said that the launch of GrabInvest aims to ‘democratise’ access to financial solutions, by enabling consumers to invest in financial products traditionally limited to affluent individuals and institutional investors.
GrabInvest aims to launch products on the Grab app in the first half of the year, with Singapore as the first market roll-out. When it rolls out in Singapore, it will adhere to consumer protection standards outlined by the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Capital Markets Services (CMS) license.
This will be the fifth core business vertical under Grab’s financial services arm, which currently offers GrabPay, GrabRewards, GrabFinance, and GrabInsure.
Grab’s expansion of its financial services follows an announcement in December 2019 that said it would join forces with one of Singapore’s major telecommunication services providers, Singtel. The two partners plan to team up to apply for a digital bank license in the country. In Malaysia, rumors swirl that Grab has also been looking to apply for a digital bank license, although Grab declined to comment.
Main image source: Grab