SoftBank nearing another US$500m investment in ride-hailing firm Grab: Sources

Six-year-old Grab has garnered more than US$6 billion in total funding, led by SoftBank, Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Toyota Motor Corp.
Six-year-old Grab has garnered more than US$6 billion in total funding, led by SoftBank, Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Toyota Motor Corp.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) - SoftBank Group is nearing a deal to invest about US$500 million (S$690.3 million) in Grab as part of roughly US$1 billion that South-east Asia's biggest ride-hailing firm is seeking in its latest funding, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Six-year-old Grab has garnered more than US$6 billion in total funding, led by SoftBank, Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Toyota Motor Corp. After its last funding a few months ago, Grab was valued at around US$11 billion.

SoftBank first bought a stake worth US$250 million in Grab in 2014 just as the two-year-old start-up began competing with Uber Technologies in South-east Asia. Toyota and financial firms led the funding exercises earlier this year.

Singapore-headquartered Grab acquired Uber's South-east Asian business this year in exchange for a stake in itself and has since expanded its operations rapidly.

The firm is looking to transform itself into a leading consumer technology group, offering, besides ride-hailing, services such as food delivery, electronic money transfers and mobile payments in one of the world's fastest-growing markets.

When contacted, SoftBank did not immediately comment on the Reuters story. Grab declined to comment.

The sources declined to be identified as the information is not public.