Grab raises $1b in funding led by SoftBank

It eyes growth in S-E Asia, particularly in Indonesia, aims to extend GrabPay platform

Ride-hailing platform Grab has raised US$750 million (S$1.02 billion) in a funding round led by Japanese mobile giant SoftBank, its long-term strategic partner.

This increases the company's total capital position to more than US$1 billion, it said in a statement yesterday. The money will be used to expand its services in South-east Asia, particularly Indonesia.

Grab will also invest in its in-app mobile payment system, GrabPay, to improve access in areas with low banking and credit-card penetration and limited cashless payment options.

The company has partnered Mandiri, Indonesia's second-largest local bank, to offer a mobile wallet service.

It is also working with Lippo Group on an e-money payment platform that will allow people to use GrabPay at Lippo's department stores, hypermarts, cinemas, coffee shops and on its e-commerce platform.

Grab intends to invest in its data science and machine-learning capabilities, and enable services like predictive demand and driver and user targeting. It is testing new services such as social carpooling and food deliveries.

Grab intends to invest in its data science and machine-learning capabilities, and enable services like predictive demand and driver and user targeting. It is testing new services such as social carpooling and food deliveries.

Mr Anthony Tan, Grab's group chief executive and co-founder, said: "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."

The company has a presence in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Said SoftBank chairman and chief executive Masayoshi Son: "Grab is the clear winner in the South-east Asia mobile space. Anthony and his team have made impressive progress in building up South-east Asia's largest mobile Internet company."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2016, with the headline 'Grab raises $1b in funding led by SoftBank'. Print Edition | Subscribe