Robinhood, the Bangkok-based food delivery today announced a multi-year strategic alliance with Google Cloud and MFEC Public Company Limited (“MFEC”) to advance its mission of building a homegrown “super app” that delivers inclusive growth opportunities to small business owners, delivery riders, and diverse users in metro and non-metro areas.
Robinhood, which adopts a zero-commissions stance to give small businesses and riders a larger share of earnings, was launched to alleviate the financial hardships faced by local food and beverage operators during the height of the pandemic and support the local tourism sector’s economic recovery. The companies will join forces to strengthen Robinhood’s culture of innovation, modernize its IT infrastructure, elevate user experiences using data-driven intelligence, and co-create new digital services.
Robinhood, which adopts a zero-commissions stance to give small business owners and riders a larger share of earnings, was launched to alleviate the financial hardships faced by local food and beverage operators during the height of the pandemic and support the domestic tourism sector’s economic recovery. The three organizations will join forces to strengthen Robinhood’s culture of innovation, modernize its IT infrastructure, elevate user experiences using data-driven intelligence, and co-create new digital services.
“Robinhood’s differentiated business model enables us to generate revenue from other independent services, such as providing loans to individuals in our ecosystem, instead of charging smaller restaurants and hoteliers platform fees that erode their earnings,” said Thana Thienachariya, Chairman of the Board, Purple Ventures Co., Ltd. (Robinhood). “With a fleet of 30,000 riders supporting 225,000 eateries, and 16,000 hotels already listed on our platform, Robinhood has become the food and travel application of choice for 2.8 million users. Together with Google Cloud and MFEC, we hope to build on the very warm response to our platform in the past 20 months and supercharge our expansion into tour, car rental, and flight bookings, and grocery and express parcel delivery services. This super app vision is an extension of our steadfast commitment toward assisting smaller players and revitalizing the grassroots economy.”
“Robinhood has always been a cloud-native platform, but as we started to see an exponential increase in demand for our services, it became clear that more performant infrastructure was needed to help us grow in a cost efficient and sustainable way,” said Srihanath Lamsam, CEO, Purple Ventures Co., Ltd. (Robinhood). “We chose Google for its superior data cloud infrastructure – one that runs with net zero operational emissions, and its rich experience in mapping the world and building open platforms and ecosystems. These capabilities, along with MFEC’s technical consulting and implementation expertise, will amplify our ability to create value for society, while contributing toward our sustainability commitments.”
The strategic alliance will encompass five core pillars:
- Cultivating skilled talent and a culture of innovation: To foster an agile culture across Robinhood’s business units and accelerate product innovation, Robinhood, Google Cloud, and MFEC will establish a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) consisting of cloud architecture, data management, and application modernization specialists. Robinhood staff will be the beneficiaries of the CCoE’s dedicated upskilling and certification programs – which incorporate the same curriculum that Google uses to train its own technologists, so these employees can be equipped to handle large-scale cloud deployments and apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to solve high impact business challenges.
- Enhancing the quality of digital services: By migrating its systems onto Google Cloud’s open, secure, scalable, and carbon neutral infrastructure, Robinhood can more effectively serve its ecosystem and reduce its IT workloads’ carbon footprint. The CCoE will then tap microservices and extended Google Play Store support to ensure Robinhood’s customer and rider applications remain robust, reliable, and lightweight – even as new services are added and accessed by a high volume of users.
- Serving hyper-personalized user engagement: To enable Robinhood staff to stay ahead of evolving user consumption patterns and leverage granular insights for strategic decision-making, the CCoE will build and manage an intelligent data engine using Google Cloud’s leading analytics, AI, and ML technologies. The data engine will also engage Robinhood users with hyper-personalized product recommendations on behalf of small businesses, to boost these merchants’ revenue streams.
- Increasing income opportunities for riders: Robinhood will explore using Google Maps Platform’s software development kits to fast track the creation and integration of on-demand mobility features. Potential use cases include providing riders with in-app, turn-by-turn navigation after identifying the shortest or fastest routes, so they can ride safer, fulfill orders quicker, and earn more. Users of Robinhood’s delivery services will have real-time visibility of their riders’ position, route, traffic conditions, and ETA, which translates to fewer customer support requests and order cancellations.
- Making financial assistance easily accessible: Recognizing that quick access to financial services can be a significant difference maker in protecting and growing livelihoods, Robinhood will explore co-innovation initiatives with Google Cloud to embed virtual banking and microlending services into its application. This would allow small business owners to seamlessly apply for financial assistance to purchase new equipment and hire staff, or for prospective delivery riders to rent electric motorcycles.
“As a key Google Cloud partner and Thailand’s listed leading systems integrator, we take immense pride in advancing the ambitions of homegrown enterprises like Robinhood,” said Siriwat Vongjarukorn, CEO and President, MFEC Public Company Limited. “With our newly formed CCoE imparting critical cloud skills, adopting an open cloud architecture, implementing data governance best practices, and automating application deployment, Robinhood can achieve performance at scale, optimize IT costs, uphold the highest data security and privacy standards, and empower its developers to release continuous software updates – without downtime – to enrich its entire digital ecosystem.”
“Pandemic-driven shifts in consumer behavior are expected to have a lasting impact, with food and transport, e-commerce, online travel, and digital financial services the key growth verticals in a resurgent internet economy that’s set to be worth US$57 billion by 2025,” said April Srivikorn, Country Manager, Thailand, Google Cloud. “By investing in talent development and tapping the best of Google Cloud, Google Maps, and Google Play to scale sustainably, innovate at high velocity, and extend its social enterprise model into new verticals, Robinhood is well on its way toward delivering a world-class super app that meets diverse digital lifestyle needs and unlocks growth opportunities for all.”