Thailand’s food delivery and travel services platform, Robinhood, has signed a multi-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud and IT services company MFEC Company (MFEC).
Robinhood was set up by the Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) group in 2020 and is operated through Purple Ventures, which is a part of SCB’s innovation arm, SCBX (SCBX).
A company spokesperson said Robinhood, which plans to turn itself into a super-app offering multiple services, signed the agreement with Google Cloud and MFEC to strengthen the company’s “culture of innovation, modernise its IT infrastructure, elevate user experiences by using data-driven intelligence, and co-create new digital services”.
According to reports, the app has 2.8 million users and is the second most popular food delivery platform in Thailand.
It has a fleet of 30,000 riders who support 225,000 eateries and 16,000 hotels listed on its platform.
The company said the partnership with Google Cloud and MFEC would help it to build on its travel offerings, as well as add car rental services, flight bookings, grocery purchases and express parcel delivery services to the app.
Purple Ventures’ CEO, Srihanath Lamsam, said the agreement with Google Cloud would help Robinhood foster an “agile culture" across its business units and accelerate product innovation.
Robinhood will collaborate with Google Cloud and MFEC to establish a cloud centre of excellence (CCoE) comprising cloud architecture, data management, and application modernisation specialists, Lamsam said.
“Robinhood staff will be the beneficiaries of the CCoE’s dedicated upskilling and certification programs… these employees would be equipped to handle largescale cloud deployments and apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to solve high-impact business challenges,” he said.
Lamsam said that simultaneously Robinhood would migrate its systems onto Google Cloud’s infrastructure “to more effectively serve its ecosystem and reduce its IT workloads’ carbon footprint”.
He added the CCoE will 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”.
The CCoE will build and manage an intelligent data engine using Google Cloud’s analytics, AI, and ML technologies, Lamsam said.
“The data engine will also engage Robinhood users with hyper-personalised product recommendations on behalf of small businesses, to boost these merchants’ revenue streams," he said.
Robinhood also plans to use Google Maps’ 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, fulfil orders quicker, and earn more,” Lamsam said.
He added that users of Robinhood’s delivery services would also have real-time visibility of their riders’ position, route, traffic conditions, and the estimated time of arrival, “which translates to fewer customer support requests and order cancellations”.
Robinhood intends to explore co-innovation initiatives with Google Cloud to embed virtual banking and micro-lending 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,” Lamsam said.
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," Lamsam said.
MFEC’s president and CEO, Siriwat Vongjarukorn, said the CCoE would help Robinhood achieve performance at scale, optimise IT costs, “uphold the highest data security and privacy standards”, and empower its developers to release continuous software updates “to enrich its entire digital ecosystem”.