Grab to invest US$2 bln in Indonesia using funds from SoftBank

July 29, 2019 16:41
Stepping up investments in Indonesia, ride-hailing firm Grab is set for more intense competition with Indonesia's home-grown rival Go-Jek. Photo: Reuters

Ride-hailing firm Grab said on Monday that it will invest US$2 billion in Indonesia over five years using capital received from Japan’s SoftBank Group, Reuters reports.

The investment will go toward creating a next-generation transportation network and transforming how critical services, like healthcare, are delivered, Grab was quoted as saying in a statement.

“SoftBank will invest the US$2 billion into the country through Grab, to drive the digitization of crucial services and infrastructure,” it said. 

Earlier on Monday, SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son told reporters that his company was investing US$2 billion in Grab.

A SoftBank spokeswoman later said Son was referring to capital already invested in Grab, and that he expressed his willingness to invest further funds in the ride-hailing firm.

Singapore-headquartered Grab has raised nearly US$3 billion so far from SoftBank and its Vision Fund.

SoftBank will help Grab build a second headquarters in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, Son also said on Monday.

Grab said the two companies will invest to create a transport network for Indonesia based on electric vehicles. Grab will also use the money to launch e-healthcare services to improve access to doctors and medical services.

Doubling down on Indonesia will intensify Grab’s competition with home-grown rival Go-Jek, Reuters noted.

Both tech startups have evolved from ride-hailing app operators to becoming one-stop shops for services as varied as making payments and food delivery.

Son also said SoftBank will pump in more funds into Indonesia’s biggest online marketplace Tokopedia, and explore investment opportunities in areas including renewable energy and electric vehicles in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

“We will study the opportunities. We are interested in electronic vehicles, batteries and the charging systems,” Son told reporters at the presidential palace in Jakarta.

In its statement, Grab said it has invested over US$1 billion in Indonesia since 2017.

The firm has been on a fundraising drive since acquiring the regional operations of US rival Uber Technologies last year, the report noted.

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