Johor Bahru, the Malaysian city that is connected to the island of Singapore via a causeway and a bridge, is the 3rd largest metro area in Malaysia. Depending on which statistics you look at (i.e. which suburbs are included), the population ranges from 1.3 million to 2.2 million.

Before the pandemic, the city hosted hundreds of thousands of workers who would cross the border to Singapore to work every day; and thousands of Singapore cars will cross the border for shopping and leisure each weekend. Those flows have been disrupted for more than two years because of the pandemic. However, with the resumption of quarantine free cross border travel, the vibrancy is expected to resurrect.

Although not as prevalent as in the cities of Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, Grab food delivery riders (and stickers) are fairly common sightings in Johor Bahru and its neighbourhoods/suburbs, like this one in Bukit Indah:

Grab’s main regional competitor Foodpanda, which has prioritised width of coverage across localities, is fairly common as well, like this sighting in Gelang Patah:

Foodpanda has also expanded its quick commerce offerings, with logos littered across this convenience store, also in Gelang Patah:

Interestingly, Grab and Foodpanda are not the only players here. There are a few other players which have onboarded merchants in the Bukit Indah area, including the rather aptly named Lolol and Snailer:

Payment is competitive as well, as expected. Both Boost and Grab have seen their consortia awarded digital bank licence by Malaysia’s central bank:

While Shopee, whose parent Sea Group also received a digital bank licence through its consortium, has not expanded aggressively its food delivery business in the city, it has onboarded many merchants for its payment service:

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].