Grab Holdings on Thursday (April 8) unveiled plans to launch a fund with an initial amount of US$275 million for the benefit of its driver, delivery and merchant partners, as well as the broader community of Southeast Asia.
The GrabForGood Fund will initially provide Covid-19 vaccine support for its partners, followed by grants and financial support for programmes with long-term social and environmental impacts on communities across the region, according to a company statement.
Grab will seed the fund with US$50 million in cash and US$200 million in expected value of company shares. In addition, Grab group chief executive officer and co-founder Anthony Tan, co-founder Tan Hooi Ling and president Ming Maa have pledged a combined US$25 million in personal contribution of Grab shares.
“The GrabForGood Fund will commence immediate work on meeting the urgent need for Covid-19 vaccines, where they're not easily available,” Anthony Tan says. “Over time, we’re planning to introduce other programmes that will provide the foundation for social and economic mobility, and give more people access to opportunities to upgrade and improve their lives. Our aspiration is to create lasting positive impact in every country we operate in.”
Long-term programmes will cover such areas as education, financial support for underserved communities, and environmental issues. An advisory board will be formed to give Grab partners and the broader community strong representation in providing feedback and recommendations over how the funds will be spent.
The company has allocated up to US$20 million in cash from the fund to fully subsidize the cost of Covid-19 vaccines and vaccine administration for eligible driver and delivery partners who are not covered by a national vaccination programme. This is in response to findings of a February 2021 survey that 92% of Grab users continue to be worried with the Covid-19 situation.
Grab has started sourcing for vaccines and will look into setting up vaccine centres to inoculate eligible partners locally.
Structured as an endowment to ensure its long-term sustainability, the fund will start to support other initiatives after it exceeds a certain targeted value.
Anticipated areas of support include insurance subsidy on top of existing accident insurance programme for driver and delivery partners, education scholarships, financial aid for persons with disabilities, financial and digital literacy programmes, grants and incentives for low- or zero-emission technology and waste reduction solutions, and financial support for groups affected by natural disasters.