Grab to Invest $700m to Help in Southeast Asia Uber Battle

grabUber’s Southeast Asian rival Grab has launched a plan to invest $700m (£557m) in Indonesia over the next four years to help the nation to become Southeast Asia’s largest digital economy by 2020.

The ‘Grab 4 Indonesia’ plan aims to provide all Indonesians with the opportunity to move into digital economy. The plan will include the opening of a Grab research and development centre in Jakarta, the launching of a social impact fund, and the increasing of access to mobile payments and financing opportunities across Indonesia.

Anthony Tan, Grab CEO and co-founder, said: “As the largest homegrown technology startup in Southeast Asia, we are excited to make this significant investment in Indonesia’s future and accelerate their transition to a fully integrated digital economy. The ‘Grab 4 Indonesia’ 2020 master plan underlines our deep commitment to driving Southeast Asia forward and our excitement about the tremendous opportunities we see in Indonesia to help build and advance the country’s digital infrastructure and ecosystem.”

Grab says that the plan will cover three ‘major’ pillars which include the creation of new technology jobs and upskilling of Indonesia’s human capital, by providing engineers with globally competitive skills; investment in technopreneurship, providing up $100m to Indonesian startups; and expanding the access of mobile payments through GrabPay Credits and financing opportunities for driver partners.

Grab saw its GrabCar and GrabBike business grow by more than 600 per cent in Indonesia over the course of 2016. The company is at $3bn after its $750m funding round in September of last year.