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Krungsri and MUFG enter into strategic alliance with Grab, invest$ 706 million(Bt 22 billion) 

Krungsri and MUFG enter into strategic alliance with Grab, invest$ 706 million(Bt 22 billion) 

MONDAY, March 09, 2020
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Krungsri Finnovate, the venture capital arm of Krungsri, has completed its investment in Grab Holdings Inc (“Grab”), a leading app in Southeast Asia.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc announced previously that it will invest up to US$706 million(Bt 22 billion) in Grab through MUFG Bank, MUFG Innovation Partners and Krungsri Finnovate, to co-develop innovative financial products and services based on combined customer insights to better cater to the financial needs of Grab’s users, driver-partners and merchant-partners.
In Thailand, the partnership between Krungsri and Grab will help Krungsri tap into a new customer base and also promote ‘sustainable banking’ through financial inclusion for populations among the new clients, the company said.
Specifically, the partnership will build on Grab Financial Group’s pilot lending services in Thailand and Krungsri’s extensive consumer lending expertise. Grab Financial Group and Krungsri will also co-develop new lending solutions for participants in Grab’s ecosystem, including driver-partners and GrabFood merchant-partners. Grab and Krungsri will leverage alternative data and AI technology to build credit scoring models, and provide innovative lending products to serve the underbanked population in Thailand, the company added.
Grab, a leading app in Thailand and Southeast Asia, offers convenient and digital everyday services such as ride-hailing, food and package delivery, and digital payments, to millions of users each day.
Krungsri president and chief executive officer Seiichiro Akita said, “Grab is very well-known and has become an integral part of Thai people’s lifestyle. Being a strategic part of Grab’s ecosystem, this partnership will enable us to render our innovative products and services to Grab’s users, merchants and drivers, some of whom may be underbanked.”
“Linked to our ESG mandate, the partnership aims not only business outcomes, but also economic and social returns, including employment creation and income distribution, which ultimately will lead to a socio-economic development of the country,” Akita added.
Reuben Lai, senior managing director, Grab Financial Group said, “We believe in the need for ecosystem partnerships to efficiently serve the underbanked in Thailand and across Southeast Asia. Together with Krungsri, we look forward to leveraging our deep customer insights with Krungsri’s expertise in banking to give micro-entrepreneurs and gig economy workers in Thailand access to micro loans and other financial services.”
Thakorn Piyapan, chairman of Krungsri Consumer and Krungsri Head of Digital Banking and Innovation Division, said, “Krungsri Finnovate joining MUFG Bank and MUFG Innovation Partners to enter into a capital and business alliance with Grab will certainly strengthen partnership synergy in Thailand. Through the co-development of alternative underwriting and credit scoring methods, such as behavioral data from both partners’ platforms, Krungsri and Grab will jointly underwrite loans to the entire Grab ecosystem, encompassing Grab Users, Grab Drivers, and GrabFood merchants.”
Worachat Luxkanalode, country head of Grab Financial Group (Thailand), said, “Access to basic financial services, such as lending is still out of reach for many micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses in Thailand. Grab Financial Group has started to pilot lending services for our driver-partners and GrabFood merchants, and our partnership with Krungsri on data innovation will accelerate our vision to support the daily financial needs of all Thais.”