Uber ri­val Grab raises $750 mil­lion to boost Asia hold

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

RIDE-HAIL­ING startup Grab has raised US$750 mil­lion from in­vestors to ex­pand in bur­geon­ing South­east Asian mar­kets in­clud­ing In­done­sia, as it aims to build its lead over US-based Uber in the re­gion.

The new in­vest­ments led by Ja­pan’s SoftBank Group raised the Sin­ga­pore-based firm’s to­tal cap­i­tal to more than $1 bil­lion.

Com­pe­ti­tion be­tween Uber and lo­cal star­tups has grown fierce in South­east Asia, home to more than 600 mil­lion peo­ple and a ris­ing mid­dle class.

Grab is con­sid­ered the lead­ing ride-hail­ing plat­form in the re­gion, op­er­at­ing in nearly twice as many cities as Uber, with Grab claim­ing up to 1.5 mil­lion book­ings a day.

Sin­ga­pore state in­vest­ment agency Te­masek Hold­ings was an early in­vestor in the firm.

Grab said par­tic­i­pants in the re­cent round of fundrais­ing in­cluded both new and ex­ist­ing in­vestors which it did not name, but re­ports last month said China’s Didi Chux­ing was among those plan­ning to back the firm.

The two com­pa­nies are al­ready part­ners in an al­liance that also in­cludes In­dia’s Ola and US-based Lyft Inc, al­low­ing users to book rides while trav­el­ling to a coun­try cov­ered by any of the four apps.

Grab chief ex­ec­u­tive and co­founder An­thony Tan said the lat­est in­vest­ment was “the largest in the his­tory of South­east Asia con­sumer tech­nol­ogy”.

“We are par­tic­u­larly ex­cited about the growth op­por­tu­nity in In­done­sia, where we see an al­most $15 bil­lion mar­ket for ride-hail­ing ser­vices alone,” he said.

The move fol­lows Uber’s de­ci­sion to sell its busi­ness in China to Didi Chux­ing last month, end­ing a fe­ro­cious bat­tle for mar­ket share that cost both firms bil­lions.

Grab op­er­ates in Sin­ga­pore, In­done­sia, the Philip­pines, Malaysia, Thai­land and Viet­nam. Its core prod­uct plat­form in­cludes pri­vate cars, mo­tor­bikes and taxi-hail­ing ser­vices which are rapidly gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity in the re­gion.

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