Grab Nabs $750 Million in Latest Funding Round, Will Focus on Indonesia
Singapore-based ride-hailing platform Grab has raised U.S. $750 million in financing, increasing its total capital to more than $1 billion, and will use the funds to expand its transportation services throughout Southeast Asia, the company announced Sept. 20. Grab, which offers private car, motorbike, taxi and carpooling services in six countries and 31 cities in Southeast Asia, also will use the capital to invest in its GrabPay mobile payments platform. The funding round was led by long-term partner SoftBank, a Japanese telecom and Internet company, with participation from new and existing investors, according to the company.
With expansion plans in Southeast Asia, Grab said it will focus on Indonesia’s population of 250 million people and expand its services in Jakarta, a city of 30 million people. The company also stated that more than 40 percent of Southeast Asia is unbanked and, to meet their needs, Grab is developing GrabPay by partnering with Indonesian bank Mandiri to offer a mobile wallet service. Also, Grab has partnered with Citi, enabling cardholders to use Citibank points to pay for Grab rides.
“We are particularly excited about the growth opportunity in Indonesia, where we see an almost $15 billion market for ride-hailing services alone, as well as the potential to extend GrabPay’s platform regionally,” said Grab CEO Anthony Tan in an announcement.
Grab claims to operate the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with up to 1.5 million daily bookings. However, the 500-pound gorilla in the room is Uber, likely Grab’s biggest competitor there. Uber also is focused on Southeast Asia and has been earmarking more resources, personnel and technology to the region, according to a Reuters report.