#Asia Sleepless in Seattle: GrabTaxi opens engineering office in US


The office will work in conjunction with similar facilities in Beijing and Singapore; headed by two men with ties to the Seattle area

Seattle FINAL

In an effort to expand its global talent pool and attract engineering talent from the US, Southeast Asia’s taxi-hailing app GrabTaxi announced today it will open a new office in Seattle, Washington by the end of the month.

The office is meant to be complementary to its R&D facilities in Beijing and Singapore and can leverage off a city with a strong university network and major engineering talent attracted by the presence of companies like Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon.

“As we continue to build an on-demand ecosystem in Southeast Asia it is important to look all over the world for innovative ideas and people that will help us continue to succeed in that mission,” GrabTaxi Co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan said in an official statement.

Also Read: Call me a plumber, not COO: GrabTaxi Co-founder Hooi Ling Tan

The company has hired Raman Narayanan as Technical Adviser and he will head recruitment efforts in Seattle.

Narayanan worked for Microsoft for 23 years and was a former “Distinguished Engineer” before leaving the company in 2013 to advise startups.

“On-demand services have changed the way people move, commute, shop and consume and I am excited to be part of helping build a team that will further development of its cloud computing, storage, Big Data management, predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities,” he said in a statement.

Additionally, GrabTaxi’s current Vice President of Engineering, Arul Kumaravel will be in charge of synthesising the Seattle operations with the company’s Singapore team.

Kumaravel also has ties to Seattle as he was the head of engineering for Amazon’s mobile platform.

Also Read: GrabTaxi and Singtel partner to offer payments by mobile wallet

Grabtaxi operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

It claims a 95 per cent market share for third-party taxi hailing apps and 50 per cent market share for private vehicle hailing. Also, it says the app facilitates 1.5 million bookings per day.

In August, GrabTaxi landed a US$350-million Series E round that included investment from Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Kuaidi.

It followed that up by launching a new car-pooling service called GrabHitch in November, which allows drivers with extra space in their vehicles to pick up passengers going the same way.

GrabTaxi was founded in 2012.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The post Sleepless in Seattle: GrabTaxi opens engineering office in US appeared first on e27.

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