Uber rival Grab raises US$750 million in new funding round
Ride-hailing company says funds will be used to continue expansion into Southeast Asia
Southeast Asian ride-hailing company, Grab Tuesday said it raised US$750 million in equity financing, bringing its total cash pile to over US$1 billion.
Japanese telecommunication giant SoftBank led the funding round, with both new and existing investors participating, Grab said in a statement.
Grab said the funds would be used to continue expanding into the highly lucrative Southeast Asian market, particularly in Indonesia. The company said in the first half of 2016, its GrabCar and GrabBike services grew by 250 times on-year in Indonesia.
“We see [Indonesia as] an almost US$15 billion market for ride-hailing services alone,” said Anthony Tan, group CEO and co-founder of Grab, in a media statement.
Grab also plans to expand its mobile payments service, GrabPay, regionally. Recently, Grab partnered with Citibank to allow cardholders to use Citibank points to pay for their rides.
The service is currently available in Singapore and is expected to be available in four other markets including Indonesia and the Philippines .
Last month, rivals Uber sold its China business to domestic competitor Didi Chuxing, with some suggesting the company was better off focusing on other potential markets such as India.
It’s also likely that Uber might turn its focus onto Southeast Asia, given the region boasts a growing, internet-savvy middle class.
Grab has an expansive transportation network in Southeast Asia, with over 400,000 drivers and up to 1.5 million daily bookings, according to the company.
It offers various transportation modes including private cars, motorbikes, taxis and carpooling services in 31 cities across the region.