Since the American ride-hailing service Uber’s exit from China, other cab aggregators around the world are most likely facing two dilemmas — to be strong and conquer or give in to the competition. Well, it seems that Grab, the leading ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia, has decided to go with the former and has secured a $750 million investment from Softbank. This bumps its total capital position to over US $1 billion.
Didi Chuxing’s participation was also anticipated in the oversubscribed round, but Grab only mentioned SoftBank in its official press release. The round led by SoftBank, a long-term strategic partner to Grab witnessed both new and existing investors. With this, the Singapore-headquartered service becomes the best capitalized technology startup and mobile internet company in Southeast Asia.
Now, it plans to leverage its US$1 billion capital position to continue expanding its transportation services in Southeast Asia. In addition, it will also significantly invest in mobile payments capabilities, to enable a seamless daily transaction experience in a region with low banking and credit card penetration and limited cashless payment options.
With the funding, Grab specifically seems interested to focus on Indonesia. Its GrabCar and GrabBike services grew 250 times in one year as of the end of 1H2016, and continues to grow exponentially. Therefore, it plans to bring its localized services to more major cities across Indonesia.
We are particularly excited about the growth opportunity in Indonesia, where we see an almost US$15 billion market for ride-hailing services alone, as well as the potential to extend GrabPay’s platform regionally. I am confident in our technology, data science and machine learning platforms, which have continued to scale to support our bold ambitions in the region.
said Anthony Tan, Grab CEO & Co-founder.
Grab has partnered with Mandiri, Indonesia’s second largest local bank, to offer a mobile wallet service. It is also long-term partners with Lippo Group, with whom it is implementing an e-money payments platform that will enable users to use GrabPay at Lippo’s department stores, hypermarts, cinemas, coffee shops and e-commerce platform.
Grab recently partnered with Citi to enable cardholders to use Citibank points to pay for Grab rides – this is the first ridesharing partnership for the global bank. The company further intents to strengthen the technology and expand the range of local payment solutions available through GrabPay for users across Southeast Asia.
Grab is the clear winner in the Southeast Asia mobile space. Anthony and his team have made impressive progress in building out Southeast Asia’s largest mobile internet company.
said Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO, SoftBank Group Corp.
Grab will continue to invest in data science and machine learning capabilities to support. It has been hiring top international talent in its R&D centers in Singapore, Beijing and Seattle, to develop innovative features like Flash that pools cars and taxis, improve back-end routing capabilities, and build its proprietary POI mapping database.
Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and claims upto 1.5 million bookings per day. It offers private car, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services across six countries and 31 cities in Southeast Asia.