Friday, 20 October, 2017

Grab Gets US$2bn Funding from China, Japan

Didi President Jean Liu and Grab CEO Anthony Tan    
   Asa Mathat Didi President Jean Liu and Grab CEO Anthony Tan Asa Mathat
Clarence Schmidt | 25 July, 2017, 00:23

Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab said it expects to raise about $2.5 billion in fresh funds from China's Didi Chuxing, Japan's Softbank Group and others to bolster dominance in the region and grow its fledging mobile payments business.

Anthony Tan, chief executive and co-founder of Grab, said in the statement, "We are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with Didi and SoftBank", which he said "share our optimism for the future of Southeast Asia and its on-demand transportation and payments markets".

Grab's fresh fundraising is "a real endorsement of the potential and promise" of Southeast Asia's startup community, said Dane Anderson, a vice president at researcher Forrester. The end may be nigh for the once ubiquitous Uber in this part of the world, and Didi and SoftBank are hedging their bets.

The company said it will continue to strengthen its already-leading market position and invest in GrabPay, its proprietary mobile payments solution.

The new financing is meant to support Grab's efforts in strengthening its position in on-demand transportation and grow its mobile payments business in Southeast Asia.

South East Asian ride-hailing firm Grab has raised $2.5bn (£1.9bn) in fresh funds, in what it says is the region's biggest ever round of investment.

Uber, which has already retreated from markets in China and Russian Federation, now faces a much-stronger rival in Grab as well as an established player in Go-Jek, which dominates the ride-sharing market in Indonesia thanks in part to a $550 million investment from private equity groups KKR & Co. and Warburg Pincus LLC.

The latest capital infusion for Grab comes at a time when its rival Uber, which has a significant Asia presence, is fraught with challenges related to its workplace culture, patent infringements, driver related issues among others.

"Starting with transport, Grab is establishing a clear leadership in Southeast Asia's internet economy based on its market position, superior technology, and truly local insight", said DiDi's founder and CEO Cheng Wei. Last August, Uber sold its Chinese intrest to Didi.

Grab operates private vehicle, motorcycle, taxi and carpooling services across seven countries with 1.1 million drivers. Its proprietary cashless top-up payment service GrabPay Credits was also launched in December previous year.

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