Grab has bought Singapore-based robo-advisory start-up Bento Invest which will be rebranded as GrabInvest, offering wealth management solutions to drivers, merchant partners and consumers through the Grab app.
Grab’s move adds another business vertical under its financial-services division Grab Financial Group which will now be led by Bento Invest founder and CEO Chandrima Das. The investment app will join Grab’s existing financial services including GrabPay, GrabRewards, GrabInsure and GrabFinance.
Reuben Lai, senior MD of Grab Financial Group, said there is a lack of access to affordable wealth-management products and retirement planning solutions for most people in Southeast Asia.
He said Grab’s purchase of Bento Invest aims to “democratise” access to retail wealth-management products, an opportunity traditionally restricted to affluent individuals and institutional investors. The app will provide a low-cost model which is easy for customers to understand by allowing them to transact on a platform they are familiar with.
“As we face an increasingly volatile and uncertain economic environment, it is imperative for Southeast Asians to acquire the tools and knowledge to protect their future by sustainably building wealth for themselves and their families,” said Lai.
“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.”
Founder Das, a former MD at Bank of Singapore and CEO of ING Investment Management, has more than 20 years of leadership experience with banks and asset managers across Asia and the UK.