No more free water

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Many rideshare drivers have been offering little boosts like water or tissues as a way to increase tips and ratings. It didn’t take long for someone to figure out a strategy to monetize that.

Grab, a ridesharing service particularly strong in Southeast Asia, has teamed up with Cargo, a U.S.-based provider of goods and services for the rideshare economy. The fresh new business, named Grab&Go, allows drivers to offer riders products for purchase including snacks, beverages and beauty products. Riders can get complimentary samples or purchase premium items. Drivers get income whether the rider chooses a sample or purchase.

Riders order products through the Grab&Go digital menu on their smartphones, entering a unique five-digit code to make sure the driver gets credit and the tab is added to their ride. Major product manufacturers like Kellogg’s, Biore UV and Unilever’s Lux — a top haircare brand in the region — are on board, giving brands an introduction to a rapidly expanding international market while riders get a much-needed item. Cargo also is available in select U.S. markets.

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