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Uber rival Grab raises $750m in equity financing

Published 21 September 2016

Grab, a rival to ride-hailing company Uber in Southeast East, has raised $750m in equity financing, increasing its total capital position to more than $1bn.

The expanded, oversubscribed round was led by Grab's strategic partner SoftBank with participation from both new and existing investors.

Grab provides ride-hailing services such as private car, motorbike, taxi and carpooling services in 6 countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines and in 31 cities.

The company estimates that every 1 out of 4 passengers is using its multiple services in the region.

Though, the company first started its services 2012 in Malaysia, it is now headquartered in Singapore. Grab says that it will invest the $1bn of capital to position itself in an expanding mode in transportation services in the region, particularly in Indonesia.

The region has a market of about 250 million people. The city of Jakarta has over 30 million people, where it wants to expand its services including GrabCar, GrabBike, GrabTaxi and GrabFood.

It also wants to expand its mobile payments capabilities with a new service GrabPay. This service can enable seamless daily transaction experience in the region, where there is low banking and credit card penetration and limited cashless payment options. For this, it has partnered with Mandiri, Lippo Group and Citi to enable seamless e-money payments.

With the investment, Grab wants to improve driving efficiency with technology, machine learning and data science capabilities. The goal is to implement predictive demand targeting drivers and users.

Grab CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan said: “Our vision is to drive Southeast Asia transportation forward and transform the region’s mobile internet ecosystem. 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."

Image: Grab wants to expand its services across Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia after the latest round of investment. Photo: courtesy of Blackzheep/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.