Grab, the biggest rival to ride-sharing service Uber Technologies Inc. in Southeast Asia, has raised US$750 million in a funding round.
The cash injection, which came just a month after Indonesian peer Go-Jek raised US$550 million, highlights the intensifying competition in the region, Reuters reports.
This comes as Uber shifts its focus following a deal to sell its China operations into Didi Chuxing, Reuters reports.
Four-year-old Grab says it plans to expand its services in Southeast Asia through the funding round, which was led by Japan’s SoftBank Group with new and existing investors.
The region has become a key battleground for ride-hailing firms thanks to a burgeoning middle class as well as a youthful, internet-savvy demographic.
Since leaving China in August, Uber is even more focused on Southeast Asia, doubling down on resources, staffing and technology deployed in the region, a source familiar with Uber’s plans has said.
Specifically, the company is refocusing more than 150 engineers to work on its Southeast Asian operations and hiring more engineers in India, the source said.
It is also working on making sure its maps fit the region.
The latest funding values Grab at over US$3 billion, a source familiar with the matter said.
It increases its total capital position to over US$1 billion, the company said without naming other investors in the round.
A Grab representative told Reuters institutional investors from the United States and China took part.
Uber had no comment on Grab’s fund-raising.
Grab says it has 95 percent market share in third-party taxi-hailing services, while its private-car business has more than half of the Southeast Asian market.
In addition to expanded ride-hailing services, Grab said it plans to invest in mobile payments capabilities in a region with low banking and credit card penetration and limited cashless payment options.
Since its launch in 2012, the company has expanded into motorbike hailing, carpooling and delivery. It also recently teamed up with Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group to roll out a mobile payment platform in its biggest market, Indonesia.
The company operates in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
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