Taxi-hailing app firm Grab raised $750 million from investors, including Japan’s SoftBank, to expand its services in Southeast Asia at a time when rival Uber has been pulling back in the region.
According to Bloomberg, Grab’s fundraising was the largest-ever for a Southeast Asian consumer technology company and increased its valuation to more than $3 billion. Grab said in a statement that it attracted funding from new as well as existing investors in the US and China but said it wouldn’t disclose the participants, except SoftBank. Previous backers are Vertex Ventures and GGV Capital.
Singapore-based Grab claims a 95 per cent market share in taxi-hailing services in Southeast Asia. The company announced in July it will expand its payment system, GrabPay, into a full cashless digital wallet service that allows users to pay for items outside of its transport service.
Rival Uber, which in late July agreed to sell its loss-making business in China to local rival Didi Chuxing, is shifting its focus in many markets to carpooling. It launched its carpooling service in Jakarta and Manila in May and June.
Uber reportedly will end its taxi service in Hong Kong to focus on its ride-sharing business, because of the difficulty drivers face in obtaining permits. Last month it said it would pull out of Macau in early September after its drivers faced steep fines there, but has backtracked on the move.
Grab’s fundraising round comes just a month after Indonesian rival Go-Jek raised $550 million.
Last December Grab, Didi, US-based Lyft and India’s Ola formed a strategic partnership to scale up their services to compete against Uber.