Grab, one of Uber’s rivals in the Southeast Asian markets, recently announced that they have raised $2 billion in funding from tech investors Didi Chuxing and Softbank. The company is optimistic that they can raise another $500 million from other interested investors before the funding round is brought to a close, which amounts to a $2.5 billion in total.
The company started as a taxi-hailing service and has now pivoted to a model that’s very similar to Uber. According to Grab, this is the largest investment a tech startup has ever raised in Southeast Asia.
Grab is known to offer their services in over 65 major cities across Southeast Asia. They also have a significant market share in Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore.
The company stated that the money they raised is going to be used to fuel further growth. Also, part of the money is going to be invested in GrabPay, a mobile payment platform.
Grab was started by Tan Hooi Ling and Anthony Tan, graduates of the Malaysian Harvard Business School. At present, Grab claims that their app is being used by 1.1 million drivers and has been downloaded more than 500 million times.
According to a recent statement by Anthony Tan, the company is excited to have deepened their relationship with Softbank and DiDi. Grab is greatly inspired by these two visionaries and their confidence in the bright future of Southeast Asia. It is also thankful that the two companies recognize that Grab is in an ideal position to take advantage of the massive potential in the Southeast Asian markets. With their support, the company is ready to take the lead in the ride-sharing industry. Furthermore, the group will build on GrabPay to make it the go-to payment solution in Southeast Asia. Needless to say, Grab is very much looking forward to working with their valued partners.
Softbank is an active investor in the technology sector. Prior to funding Grab, the company made a large investment in Improbable, a London-based company that focuses on simulated worlds. It also made a big investment on Nauto, a company based in Silicon Valley that focuses on autonomous vehicle technology. Softbank is recorded to own the largest investment fund in the world, with around $93 billion inside its vault.
According to Masayoshi Son, the acting CEO of Softbank, Grab is a company that deeply understands the Asian markets, and they are using their technology to address the constant transportation problem in this part of the world. They are confident that the company has a huge potential as they are operating in highly promising and dynamic regions. Softbank is very excited to have partnered with Grab, and it only seeks to find ways to deepen the relationship further as Grab's journey continues.
Grab is highly praised in 6 major countries in Southeast Asia. The company has shaken the taxi industry in many cities. Recently, Grab branched out to a model that’s similar to Uber's. Most Asian analysts would claim that Grab is poised to take the lead from Uber's position in the ride-sharing industry.