Singapore: Grab raised $750 million in equity financing from investors including Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., a record funding round intended to secure its lead in South-East Asian ride-hailing.
The money raised from new and existing investors was the largest round ever for a regional consumer technology company and takes Grab’s overall capital to more than $1 billion, the start-up said in a statement on Tuesday. China’s Didi Chuxing was said to be joining that round, people familiar with the matter have said, but Grab only mentioned SoftBank.
Didi, India’s Ola and Lyft Inc. are Grab’s partners in a strategic alliance intended to fend off Uber Technologies Inc.’s attempts to expand around the world. On-demand car services have taken off as smartphone usage expands and riders seek simpler or quicker alternatives to taxis and public transportation. But the process of signing up drivers and attracting customers is a costly one, requiring big subsidies on rides.
Grab, which operates as many as 1.5 million daily bookings across six countries, said it will invest in mobile payments and sustain its pace of Asian expansion. The company didn’t say how its latest round of funding affected its valuation. Grab was valued at $1.8 billion in December 2014, according to CB Insights. Bloomberg