Didi Chuxing, SoftBank lead US$2.5b finance round in Southeast Asian ride hailing firm Grab
Didi Chuxing is teaming up with Japan’s Softbank to lead a US$2.5 billion round of financing in Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant Grab, as Didi looks toward internationalising its business outside of China.
Didi, which dominates China’s ride-hailing market, said in a statement on Monday that the company and Softbank will invest up to US$2 billion in Grab.
Other investors are expected to invest about US$500 million, pegging the round’s anticipated total to US$2.5 billion – the largest ever fundraising round in Southeast Asia to date. The investment round reportedly pushes Grab’s valuation to over US$6 billion.
“Both [Didi and Grab] look forward to working together with communities and policymakers across Asia to fully embrace the extraordinary opportunities in the upcoming transportation revolution,” Didi chief executive Cheng Wei said in a statement.
Anthony Tan, chief executive and co-founder of Grab, said the new funds will be used to strengthen Grab’s leading position in the region as well as invest in GrabPay, the company’s mobile payments platform that allows cash-free payment.
Grab claims a market share of 95 per cent in third-party taxi-hailing and 71 per cent in private ride-hailing. The company was founded by Malaysians Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling, and is currently headquartered in Singapore.
Didi Chuxing first invested US$350 million in Grab in 2015, as the Chinese company sought to establish an alliance with ride-hailing companies globally to compete with Uber prior to Didi buying out Uber China’s operations last August.
Didi’s alliance included Grab, as well as Uber’s main US rival Lyft and India’s Ola, with the companies agreeing to share knowledge with each other. Apart from Grab, the Chinese ride-hailing company has also invested in Ola, and poured US$100 million into Lyft together with a cross-network partnership that would allow Didi’s users to hail a Lyft driver in the US with the Didi app.