From GrabTaxi to Grab: Rebranded ride-hailing app promises safety, freedom

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GrabTaxi began as an on-demand taxi booking app in 2012. It has later evolved into offering private car services in GrabCar, motorcycle taxis in GrabBike, fast delivery in GrabExpress, and helicopter rides in GrabHeli.

Singapore (CNN Philippines) — Ride-hailing app GrabTaxi rebranded to Grab on Thursday (January 28), with safety and freedom still at its core.

The rebranding was launched by Grab's co-founders Anthony Tan and Tan Hoo Ling, in the presence of media from the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand — the countries Grab is serving.

The on-demand booking app started offering just a taxi service in 2012, but has evolved into offering private car services with GrabCar, motorcycle taxis with GrabBike, fast parcel delivery with GrabExpress, and helicopter rides with GrabHeli.

The rebranding was made for the one brand to encapsulate the different services it offers.

"We're no longer just a taxi app. Whatever you need — whether you need a taxi, car, bike, or limo — we'll be there," said Tan.

He added that the brand aims to offer endless possibilities of transportation at various price points to fit different commuters and consumers.

"We are much more than what we started out to be," said Cheryl Goh, Grab's Vice President of Marketing.

Improved user experience

Following the rebranding, Grab is enhancing its mobile app to ensure that users get the best experience while booking their rides or deliveries.

The app update will include a faster two-click booking wherein pick-up and drop-off points will be pre-filled based on the user's favorite places. It will also have a more accurate live driver tracking.

Aside from the app update, GrabWork was introduced. Rides booked through the Grab app can be tagged as business rides, which will include the trip details for the use of tracking and expense claims.

Facing cancellation of accreditation

Goh faced the issue that the company may be stripped of its accreditation to operate as a Transportation Network Company (TNC) by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) if it does not cease its GrabBike operation.

The LTFRB cited safety issues and the authorization of Grab to operate such service.

Goh said that commuters and drivers using GrabBike are assured of their safety as drivers, or riders as they're called by Grab, are well-trained and have completed safety trainings.

She added that riders and passengers are insured once they ride a GrabBike.

Goh reiterated the importance of having an open dialogue with the Philippine government to address the issues.

"To win in Southeast Asia, you have to convince the governments. You have to work with them. You cannot be at war with them," she said.

She believes that through discussion and being cooperative, they can fix the issue.

"We need to work hand-in-hand with the government."