Asian firm raises $2B to fend off Uber

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

SIN­GA­PORE — Grab, the lead­ing provider of ride­hail­ing ser­vices in South­east Asia, said Mon­day it raised $2 bil­lion from Ja­pan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and China’s Didi Chux­ing, and it ex­pects to re­ceive an­other $500 mil­lion from new and ex­ist­ing back­ers.

The money will help Grab, which al­ready dom­i­nates the re­gion, de­fend its turf against Uber Tech­nolo­gies Inc. in one of the San Fran­cisco com­pany’s most im­por­tant global mar­kets af­ter re­treats from China and Rus­sia.

Uber’s ri­vals are pil­ing on a com­pany in cri­sis. While a se­ries of scan­dals at Uber cul­mi­nated in the ouster of Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Travis Kalan­ick in June, its com­peti­tors in China, In­dia, Brazil and Sin­ga­pore have raised a to­tal of about $9 bil­lion to ac­cel­er­ate their ex­pan­sions. The money, pri­mar­ily from Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank, jeop­ar­dizes Uber’s push for global dom­i­nance and its $69 bil­lion val­u­a­tion.

Uber sold its busi­ness in China to Didi af­ter a fierce bat­tle that saw each com­pany burn­ing through more than a bil­lion dol­lars a year at one point as they fought for driv­ers and rid­ers with rich sub­si­dies. Uber ne­go­ti­ated a sim­i­lar move in Rus­sia this month as it seeks to nar­row losses.

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