Grab raises S$1 billion in record funding round led by SoftBank

A Grab taxi banner on display in Change Alley at Raffles Place in the Central Business District on Feb 24, 2016.
A Grab taxi banner on display in Change Alley at Raffles Place in the Central Business District on Feb 24, 2016.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Ride-hailing platform Grab has raised US$750 million (S$1.02 billion) in funding, in a 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 on Tuesday (Sept 20).

The money raised from new and existing investors was the largest round ever for a regional consumer technology company, Grab added.

The money will be used to expand its services in South-east Asia, and Indonesia in particular. Grab will also significantly invest in mobile payments capabilities to improve access in a region with low banking and credit card penetration and limited cashless payment options.

The company also intends to invest in data science and machine learning capabilities and enable services like predictive demand, and driver and user targeting.

"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," said group chief executive officer and co-founder Anthony Tan.

"Grab is the clear winner in the South-east Asia mobile space. Anthony and his team have made impressive progress in building out South-east Asia's largest mobile internet company," said SoftBank chairman and chief executive officer Masayoshi Son.