MWC

Grab Raises $750m for Ride Hailing in Southeast Asia

Tim Maytom

grabGrab, Uber's biggest rival in Southeast Asia, has announced the completion of a $750m (£580m) funding round as competition between ride hailing services in the region heats up.

Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia, with ride hailing services that cover private cars, motorbikes, taxis and carpooling in six different countries and 31 cities. The company deals with up to 1.5m daily bookings, and one out of four passengers uses multiple services from the firm.

The investment comes just a month after Indonesian service Go-Jek raised $550m in funding, while Uber has been seeking to expand its market share in the area after selling off its Chinese operations to Didi Chuxing.

Grab, which was founded four years ago, has plans to expand its service throughout Southeast Asia using the latest cash injection, strengthening its current operations and establishing a presence in new markets, as well as developing its GrabPay mobile payment solution and driving efficiencies within its operations.

The investment was led by Japanese firm SoftBank, a long-term strategic partner with the service, as well as new and existing investors, and sees the company's market capitalisation hit over $1bn.

"Our vision is to drive Southeast Asia transportation forward and transform the region's mobile internet ecosystem," said Anthony Tan, co-founder and CEO of Grab Group. "This latest funding, the largest in the history of Southeast Asia consumer technology, strengthens our ability to pursue those long-term goals as we continue to build on our market leadership.

"We are particularly excited about the growth opportunity in Indonesia, where we see an almost $15bn market for ride hailing services alone, as well as the potential to extend GrabPay's platform regionally. I am confident in our technology, data science and machine learning platforms, which have continued to scale to support out bold ambitions in the region."

“Grab is the clear winner in the Southeast Asia mobile space," said Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group. "Anthony and his team have made impressive progress in building out Southeast Asia’s largest mobile internet company. We are committed to supporting local champions like Grab that have a vision for a next-generation internet ecosystem, and look forward to participating in their long-term success.”