Anthony Tan

One of the region’s top technopreneurs, Anthony Tan is the co-founder of Grab—one of the few Southeast Asian start-ups that has surpassed decacorn status


Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan started the company with Tan Hooi Ling in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2012. The business partners had an eye on safer taxi rides in the country, signing on drivers that commuters could trust.

Their cab-hailing app, MyTeksi, later relocated to Singapore after raising funds for regional expansion. It was rebranded as Grab in 2016, and today has grown to offer financial services, online payments and food delivery, on top of its core business of rides via private cars, taxi partners, shuttle buses, bikes and social carpooling. The firm, which operates in eight markets across Southeast Asia, is funded by 56 investors including blue-chip names such as Microsoft and SoftBank, and is valued at nearly US$40 billion.

Tan, who studied at Harvard Business School, is also the scion of one of Malaysia’s wealthiest families: he is the son of Dato Tan Heng Chew, president of the board at Tan Chong Motor Holdings Berhad, one of the country’s biggest automobile distributors. Before founding Grab, Tan was head of supply chain and marketing at Tan Chong, tasked with overseeing logistics and raising awareness of the various marques under the group.

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Tan’s grandfather was Tan Yuet Foh, a Malaysian taxi driver who went on to found car dealership company Tan Chong Motor Holdings in 1957.

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