Grab is Riding its Way into Southeast Asia With a $500 Million Investment

Grab has raised more than $6 billion in funding this year, with the latest rounds of funding from Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Toyota Motor Corp

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By Komal Nathani


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The ride-hailing king SoftBank is reportedly planning to invest about $500 million in Southeast Asia's biggest taxi-aggregator firm Grab, which will help the company in its global expansion. The six-year-old startup that recently bought out Uber Asia a few months ago, was working aggressively to close a deal of $1 billion investment in its latest funding, with the Japanese giant, says global news agency Reuters.

Grab has raised more than $6 billion in funding this year, with the latest rounds of funding from Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Toyota Motor Corp. The Japanese automaker Toyota had pumped an investment of $1 billion in July this year to make use of its disruptive technologies. After the funding from SoftBank, the total valuation of the company becomes $11 billion, charting the list of Southeast Asia's most valued startups.

How Grab Has Transformed Post-Uber

Ever since the Grab has acquired Southeast Asia operations of global taxi-aggregator Uber Technologies, it has grown rapidly in Southeast Asia market. The Singapore-headquartered company is not just expanding its ride-hailing services but is also tapping other on-demand services to become a consumer-technology group in future years. In a short span of time, Grab has become a regional behemoth operating in about 235 cities in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

The company is also looking to tap more strategic financial firms to get investment before it goes public in the next few years. Considering the data and the market scenario, it's quite evident that the company is getting attraction from the dominant players in the automotive and ride-hailing industry. SoftBank first bought a stake worth US$250 million in Grab in 2014 just as the two-year-old start-up began competing with Uber Technologies in South-east Asia. Toyota and financial firms led the funding exercises earlier this year, according to Reuters. Not just Japanese giants Toyota and SoftBank are betting big on startup, but the automakers like Honda Motor and South Korea's Hyundai Motor are investing in the firm.

Amid the intense competition in Southeast Asia, Grab gives a tough competition to its Indonesian rival Go-Jek. The Singapore-based company has earmarked Indonesia as a priority market as competition heats up with Indonesian rival Go-Jek expanding into Southeast Asia.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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