Grab, the ride-hailing company competing with Uber in Southeast Asia, has pulled in $2 billion of new financing from existing investors Didi Chuxing, the company that defeated Uber in China, and SoftBank.
The latest round of funding comes from Japan's Softbank and China's top ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing. Grab said Monday that it expects another $500 million will come from other existing and new investors. Its last announced cash injection was in September when it raised $750 million led by Softbank, whose chief executive Masayoshi Son is Japan's richest person and a self-styled tech visionary.
“We are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with DiDi and SoftBank. We’re encouraged that these two visionary companies share our optimism for the future of Southeast Asia and its on-demand transportation and payments markets, and recognize that Grab is ideally positioned to capitalize on the massive market opportunities,” said Anthony Tan, group CEO and co-founder of Grab.
In Indonesia, the region's biggest economy and most populous country with more than 250 million people, it's in a fierce battle for customers with local app Go-Jek. Grab operates in 36 cities across seven countries in Southeast Asia, where it claims over 50 million downloads from users and 1.1 million drivers on its platform.
Uber lost a pricey expensive fight for control of the market in China against Didi Chuxing, forced to accept a stake in Didi as a consolation prize.
As of yet, however, none none of the apps, including Grab, are profitable. Didi Chuxing itself raised $7.3 billion in June last year.
The ride-hailing apps are popular with residents of congested Southeast Asian cities, who aside from using them for rides also find them convenient for fetching takeaway food, delivering documents and other tasks.
At the start of 2017, Grab announced a $700 million investment program to build its services in Indonesia, of which at least $100 million is dedicated to investments and acquisitions. It didn’t take long to dip into that, with Grab buying offline payment startup Kudo two months later in a deal sources told TechCrunch could be worth as much as $100 million over time.
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