Grab Holdings Inc has acquired Bento Invest, a Singapore-based robo-advisory start-up for an undisclosed sum. The move will allow Grab to offer retail wealth management solutions to users, driver-partners and merchant-partners, via the Grab app.
With the acquisition, Bento will be rebranded as GrabInvest with products launched on the Grab app in the first half of the year, with Singapore as the first market to roll-out.
GrabInvest will be a new core business vertical under Grab’s financial services arm, Grab Financial Group, led by Chandrima Das, founder and CEO of Bento.
Grab Financial Group currently offers financial services across Southeast Asia in payments (GrabPay), rewards (GrabRewards), lending (GrabFinance), and insurance (GrabInsure) to micro-entrepreneurs, small business owners, driver-partners and users across Southeast Asia.
The company said GrabInvest aims to democratise access to retail wealth management products, in order to provide millions across Southeast Asia with the opportunity to save and invest in financial products traditionally limited to affluent individuals and institutional investors.
GrabInvest aims to make wealth management services accessible by adopting a low-cost model, easy to understand by allowing users to transact on a platform they are familiar with, transparent by having full disclosures on fees with zero hidden elements, and trusted by adhering to consumer protection standards outlined by our Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Capital Markets Services (CMS) license, said the company statement. GrabInvest will operate under a retail wealth management capital markets services license in Singapore, namely the MAS Retail Licensed Fund Management Company (LFMC) license.
Bento’s proprietary digital wealth platform includes client onboarding, and portfolio construction and rebalancing supported by robust risk management capabilities. The platform is built and backed by a team of seasoned asset management and banking professionals who will join the GrabInvest team. Bento’s founder, Chandrima Das, has over two decades of leadership experience in banks and asset managers across Asia and the UK. Chandrima was formerly Managing Director at Bank of Singapore and prior to that, CEO of ING Investment Management.
Chandrima Das, Founder and CEO, Bento, and Grab Financial Group’s new Head of Wealth Management, said: “The Bento and Grab Financial teams share a common vision to democratise investments for our customers irrespective of their wallet size. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Grab ecosystem as we work together to make wealth management solutions serve the financial needs of millions of Southeast Asians.”
Reuben Lai, Senior Managing Director of Grab Financial Group, said: “In Southeast Asia, there is a lack of access to affordable wealth management products and retirement planning solutions for most people. 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. 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.”
P.S: Get the latest in your inbox weekly. Join 10,000+ financial advisers, leaders and senior executives on our complimentary VIP Weekly Newsletter