Grab raises another US$1b to finance ride-hailing battle

Six-year-old Grab bought out Uber Technologies Inc in Southeast Asia earlier this year and is racing to consolidate its grip on the region.
Six-year-old Grab bought out Uber Technologies Inc in Southeast Asia earlier this year and is racing to consolidate its grip on the region. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Grab, South-east Asia's leading ride-hailing service, raised US$1 billion from investors including OppenheimerFunds, Ping An Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners just over a month after securing US$1 billion from Japan's Toyota Motor Corp.

The additional money brings its additional funding to US$2 billion with a significant portion to be invested in Indonesia. That will help Grab finance a costly battle against Jakarta-based rival Go-Jek, which is expanding outside its home turf and has announced it would invest US$500 million to enter Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Six-year-old Grab bought out Uber Technologies Inc in Southeast Asia earlier this year and is racing to consolidate its grip on the region. It has expanded into services like payments and grocery delivery to create a mobile platform that can address everyday requests for millions of users. Grab handles more than 7 million drivers, agents and merchants scattered across 225 cities in eight countries, and its app has been downloaded on more than 100 million mobile devices.

Go-Jek's backers have offered at least US$1 billion of new funding from existing investors eager to accelerate its overseas expansion, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

Toyota's June investment in Grab marked the largest ever bet by an automaker on the ride-hailing business. The deal was double the size of General Motors Co's investment in Lyft Inc in 2016, highlighting chief executive officer Akio Toyoda's determination to expand into mobility services. Grab was valued at just over US$10 billion in the transaction, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.