Jeff Livney is the Chief Experience Officer for Houston-based Grab. The idea from the app came from Livney and his co-founders, who all traveled a lot. “Two of them came from the airline business via United Airlines and Continental Airlines, so they understood the passenger and the benefit of having apps that work across networks,” he recalled.
Concepts fail when there’s fragmentation and only single operators, said Livney. “We knew we had to have a product that was similar to the OpenTable [restaurant] app in order to be successful,” he said. “We also realized that we needed people from the airline industry who understood passengers, so we came together and founded the company in 2014.”
The founders spend time building Grab and launched it in Atlanta in October 2015. “Grab is now in close to 200 restaurants in 19 airports. It’s been exciting to develop and grow relationships with these restaurants,” he said. “We like that travelers see the value of Grab.
“We’re working on integrating our products onto existing apps on iOS or Android. We’re also in the process of embedding Grab inside the American Airlines app, which really boosts our distribution,” said Livney.
Grab will also add retail and duty-free shopping, said Livney. “We’ll be in our first location soon. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense,” he said.
The size and reach of Grab is great, and it partners with HMSHost, said Livney. “Their locations will be available through the Grab platform. And if Airport Sherpa gets off the ground, we can eventually partner with them,” he said.