SINGAPORE — Southeast Asian ride-hailing unicorn Grab has handed its PR duties for Singapore and Asia-Pacific to IN.FOM, the Holmes Report can reveal.

The independent Singapore PR firm secured the assignment following a competitive review, and takes on a mandate that includes strategic communications and campaign planning, media publicity and advocacy, and crisis communications for Grab in Singapore and regionally. The company has previously worked with Teneo.

Grab has grown rapidly since its 2012 launch in Malaysia, to its current valuation of $14bn, making it the region's first 'decacorn', with interests across transportation, food/parcel delivery and digital payments. 

"Communications is a critical function for Grab as it continues its rapid expansion across Southeast Asia as an every day super app covering transport, food, payments and other lifestyle services," said IN.FOM managing partner Wong Voal Voal.

The Grab win comes after IN.FOM resigned its biggest account — anchor client Microsoft — earlier this year. The regional business has since shifted to Edelman, with IN.FOM also set to stop working with Microsoft Singapore at the end of this year. 

"Our decision to part ways with Microsoft Asia, which was an emotionally difficult one given that we had seamlessly functioned as their extended communications team in the last few years, was a well thought through move that was necessary for IN.FOM to continue to grow as a communications agency," explained Wong. "More importantly, this enables our team members to experience greater diversity in the types of clients and opportunities that they can work on.

"Our long tenure with Microsoft reflects our business ethos where we can only be strategic as a communications partner when both agency and client are willing to invest long term to fuse talents, strategies and processes together," added Wong. "In fact, our average tenure with our clients are about four to five years."

In addition to Grab, Wong noted that IN.FOM had also secured recent retainers from Poly (following the merger of Polycom and Plantronics) and the Trade Desk. The firm, which was named 2018 Global Technology Agency of the Year, has not made any redundancies.

"In fact, we are currently expanding our team with strategic hires to deepen some of our cutting-edge communications services, as well as working with our new clients," said Wong. "We continue to be optimistic about the demand for strategic and integrated communications needs in this region, and still actively looking out for new talents to join our team."