After a period of attracting users with industry, tech apps, from ride-hailing to chatting, continue to develop into ‘super-apps’ which can be used for many purposes.

‘Super-app’ race heats up in Vietnam

In late July, Grab said it was focusing on the HCMC market when providing food delivery services. However, on September 5, or just one year later, it began providing service in four central districts in Hanoi.

The company’s press release emphasized that GrabFood is the next important development step in the plan to become a super-app, useful for all aspects of daily life in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

The development of a super app was stated by Grab’s CEO Anthony Tan in mid-July. In Singapore and Indonesia, Grab’s app books taxi, delivery services, orders food,and has news, videos and games.

Super app, or all-in-one app, is not a new idea. Tencent is considered the pioneer and the most successful player in the world along with WeChat.

WeChat was launched in 2011 as a messaging app. But it later became a multi-functional app which allows users to do many things, from communicating to buying goods, from traveling to making payment.

Grab is not the only player in the super-app battle field. Most recently, Zalo launched a trial app version for a group of users with new services, such as taxi hailing and food ordering.

Prior to that, the messaging app was integrated with e-commerce. Users can also use the app to check weather forecasts and restaurants, to book examination schedule, pay water and electricity bills and enjoy e-government services.

Experts commented that the way Zalo is following has similarities with WeChat’s. Meanwhile, the advantages of Grab is a powerful logistics foundation with 135,000 drivers in Vietnam.

According to technology experts, attracting new users and retaining existing users can bring big money to app developers because they not only can make profit from transactions, but also from the collection, analysis and use of users’ data.

Grab late last month launched GrabAds, an ad platform. By analyzing people’s habits and hobbies, ads can be personalized.

To run super-app, developers need to create a product which many users need. Developing super-app from messaging or hailing app proves to be the most feasible way.

Besides Grab and Zalo, Go-Viet is also a player with big potential. Andre Soelistyo, president of Go-Jek, the holding company of Go-Viet, said Go-Viet accounted for 10 percent of the motorbike hailing market share in HCMC just after three days of operation. In mid-August, CEO Nadiem Makarim told Reuters that its market share rose to 15 percent.

According to a report  on Vietnamnet


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