Super App Is a Tool to Boost Any Business, and These World Cases Prove That

Or why super app is more than a buzzword

According to Gartner, over 50% of the global population will be using super apps daily by 2027. Super apps are trending not just because users prefer them to separate apps, but because they bring benefits to enterprises. We’ve picked the six best examples of how super apps helped companies grow in different ways.

1. Rappi sells three times more by entertaining to engage

Rappi is an on-demand delivery startup from Colombia, operating in 9 countries in Latin America. In 2019, the team adopted a super app strategy and reached a triple increase in orders.

Rappi Business Ecosystem

Rappi launched in 2015 as an express delivery service. Its founders had two goals: to deliver goods as fast as possible and to deliver as many of them as possible. The app became a “digital pantry” that expanded from beverages to meals, groceries, tech goods, and medicine. Finally, the team reached the point when they could deliver anything.

How Rappi evolved between 2015 and 2022

After having reached the initial goal, Rappi’s team looked at the first non-delivery vertical—finance. In 2018 and 2019, the company introduced Rappi Pay, a digital wallet for in-app money transfers and QR-code payments. Soon after that, Rappi revealed its ambition to become a super app and launched Rappi Entertainment, with music streaming, live events, and games. The idea was to make people stay in the app for as long as possible.

Now, Rappi’s key services in the super app are:

  • Delivery of anything, including groceries, food, and medicine
  • Payments and banking
  • Entertainment
Key services in the Rappi app: delivery, entertainment, payments

Rappi’s idea of using entertainment to increase app stickiness seems to be working. According to Rappi’s president in Brazil, the company sells three times more during a live show than restaurants do on regular days.

2. Gojek increases company value 10x in just 3 years

Gojek is an Indonesian on-demand platform with over 25 services, operating in 3 countries in Southeast Asia. In 2015, Gojek got a head start over competitors by adopting a super app strategy early. Between 2016 and 2019, it became the region’s first unicorn and decacorn.

Back in 2015, Gojek resembled Uber—but Gojek’s founders’ vision involved more than offering rides. In their view, a driver was a human being with a motorcycle, and they could do many things, not just take a person from point A to point B. That’s why, soon after ride-hailing, Gojek added delivery and personal shoppers. This way, Gojek’s drivers have more opportunities to earn money, while consumers receive access to greater convenience.

How Gojek evolved between 2010 and 2022

Additionally, Gojek’s main competitor in Southeast Asia was expanding into Indonesia. Gojek had to give people even more reasons to use their application. That’s why the founders aimed at making Gojek a platform that fixes things. When this new super app was introduced in 2015, it combined motorbike ridesharing, delivery, and shopping. Later, Gojek added food delivery, on-call beauty services, entertainment booking, and e-payments.

Today, Gojek operates in 6 verticals, but the foundational sectors that helped the company thrive were:

  • Transport and logistics—GoRide and GoSend
  • Food delivery and shopping—GoFood and GoMart
  • Payments—GoPay
Key services in the Gojek app: transport, food delivery, and payments

Analysts suggest that early diversification ensured Gojek’s long-time growth. In 2016, the company’s value reached $1B and grew to $10B just 3 years later, in 2019, making Gojek Indonesia’s first unicorn and decacorn.

3. Grab achieves a nearly twofold increase in customer retention

Grab is a Singaporean technology company providing everyday services across 8 countries in Southeast Asia. Released in 2018, the super app helped the company achieve an almost twofold increase in customer retention rate.

Map of the services in the Grab business ecosystem

Grab started in Malaysia in 2012. In the beginning, the owners didn’t have any intention to build a super app. Their first application served only one purpose—to connect the drivers with the riders. Soon after that, Grab launched other services like car-sharing and bike-sharing. One vertical was fleshed out—but the super app era was yet to come.

Amid tough competition, Grab realized that they had to offer more than ride-hailing to keep their customers. With GrabExpress—the first non-mobility service in the company’s portfolio—Grab entered the financial industry and introduced a wallet for in-app payments.

How grab evolved between 2012 and 2022

In June 2018, Grab made the final step towards becoming an everyday super app for customers. The company announced GrabPlatform—a suite of APIs for partners to build their services on. At the time, the super app combined the following services:

  • Mobility—GrabTaxi, GrabCar, GrabBike, and GrabShare
  • Deliveries—GrabExpress and GrabFood
  • Finance—GrabPay
Key services in the Grab app: delivery, mobility, and financial

The strategic decision paid off. In December 2020, the company reported that thanks to the super app strategy, the percentage of users buying more than one service grew 4.5 times—from 12% to 54%. That, in turn, helped increase the one-year customer retention rate from 47% to 79%.

4. Orami triples visitors in 2 years with unique parenting services

Orami is an Indonesian e-commerce parenting platform. In 2020, Orami launched a parenting super app and grew the number of monthly visitors from 6 to 16 million in 2 years.

Orami started in 2016 after a merger of two e-commerce sites for women. The new company narrowed its focus to mother and baby goods, as they believed this market had the biggest potential in Indonesia. This was the right decision: soon after launching the website, the team saw high interest and enthusiasm from Indonesian parents.

Mothers actively shared their parenting experiences on the forum, which was convenient for Orami. The company could analyze the topics to understand how to both help users and grow the customer base. Soon they found that customers focused on four areas: information on parenting, community support, shopping, and entertainment. This would become the foundation for the new super app in 2020.

How Orami evolved between 2016 and 2022

Something unique to Orami’s case is that since December 2020, Orami’s website has been an exact duplicate of the app. It means that users can try all the tools on the web before downloading the app. For example, a name finder suggests baby names based on a particular topic.

The launch of the super app made Orami the only parenting platform in Indonesia with everything that parents need in one place:

  • Commerce: mother and baby products
  • Content: educational articles, guides, and tools
  • Community: chats for different groups of parents
Formula of the Orami app: commerce, content, community

Since Orami launched the platform, the number of visitors has increased from 5.6 to 16.1 million in two years. Such a success helped the company partner with a leading e-commerce enabler Sirclo and become the most popular e-commerce site for fashion in Indonesia.

5. AirAsia increases active users by 236% in one year

AirAsia is an international, low-cost airline based in Malaysia. In 2020, it diversified its business and launched the airasia super app. Now known as Capital A, the company succeeded in growing the share of net new customers and doubled the average number of monthly active users.

Map of the services in the Capital A business ecosystem

AirAsia started to work on the new app in 2019, but mobile users had been important for the company even before that. Back in 2005, it was the first airline to offer a booking system targeted at mobile phones. 14 years later, the idea behind a new app was to find new revenue streams. High-frequency and low-margin businesses, like food delivery, were supposed to boost high-margin business—air travel. The decision came with perfect timing, as in 2020 airlines couldn’t rely on existing customers, let alone acquire new ones.

AirAsia saw the biggest potential in delivery and ride-hailing. First, they could cross-sell services with higher value to the customers ordering food and taxi. Second, the branded vehicles increased the company’s visibility on the streets. Thus, in 2020, the group launched the airasia super app and changed the name to Capital A to demonstrate business diversity.

How AirAsia (now Capital A) evolved between 2005 and 2022

The super app presented 15 products and services under three main pillars: e-commerce, travel, and fintech.

  • E-commerce: a duty-free shop, food and grocery delivery, ride-hailing, and beauty products
  • Travel: flights, buses, trains, ferries, and hotel booking
  • Fintech: mobile wallet, insurance, and rewards
The pillars of the AirAsia super app: travel, e-commerce, finance

In 2021, more than half of the super app’s delivery users were new to the group. Thanks to acquiring these new customers, Capital A achieved a 236% increase in the average number of monthly active users in a year.

6. Careem sees a 9x increase of customers using multiple services

Careem is a UAE-based ride-hailing service owned by Uber. In 2020, the company launched a super app that helped it increase the number of customers buying multiple services by 9 times.

Back in 2012, Careem’s founders didn’t have any super app ambitions. It was simply a website for corporate car bookings, later accompanied by an app. For a while, the app was developed around one vertical—mobility. But in 2018, the team saw an opportunity in the under-served delivery market and released a food delivery app Careem Now. Again, it was an app for one purpose, and had no integration with their ride-hailing service. Existing customers could use their Careem credentials to log in, but they had to have two different applications.

The company recognized this problem and came up with a plan. In 2020, driven by the desire to simplify people’s lives, Careem announced a new super app combining ride-hailing and delivery. Like many businesses in 2020, the company suffered from huge losses, but the CEO was optimistic about the super app’s future. It was designed to help Careem emerge stronger after the crisis.

How Careem evolved between 2012 and 2022

The first version of the Careem super app, set up in 2020, united three services:

  • Food delivery
  • Mobile wallet
  • Ride-hailing
Key services in the Careem app: food delivery, ride-hailing, and mobile wallet

There were many effects after the super app’s release, all contributing to recovery across verticals. According to Careem’s 2020 trends report, after the super app was released, the company has seen a 9x increase in the number of customers using multiple services.

Key takeaways

Super app is more than a buzzword:

  • In Latin America, it helped Rappi drive order numbers
  • In Indonesia, it increased Gojek’s company value and attracted more customers to Orami
  • In Malaysia, it led to an increase in Capital A’s monthly users
  • In Singapore, it improved Grab’s customer retention rate
  • In the UAE, it helped Careem cross-sell to more customers

These cases prove that a super app is a tool that brings tangible benefits to businesses in different countries, and it can be successful in the U.S. as well. You might have heard that this model isn’t suitable for the U.S. market, but that’s just one side of the story. We think super apps will make it in America, and we know at least three reasons why. If you want to learn more about how a super app can help your business, feel free to give us a shout.