Uber’s Biggest Rival in Southeast Asia Rounds Up Another $750 Million
Grab, Uber’s main ride-hailing rival in Southeast Asia, has added $750 million to its coffers.
On Monday, the Singapore-based company said that it had closed a new round of funding led by SoftBank, which had already invested in the firm. The new funding brings Grab’s valuation to more than $1 billion--cementing its status as a “unicorn” startup--though it declined to share a specific number or disclose other investors in the round.
The company was previously rumored to be raising $1 billion in new funding. Its valuation after its previous round was pegged at about $1.6 billion.
Grab was founded in 2012 by Anthony Tan and Hooi Ling Tan (no relation) as MyTeksi, a mobile app for booking taxi rides in Malaysia, the founders’ home country. Since then, it has expanded to also offer rides in private cars, motorbikes, and carpooling services across 31 cities in six countries in Southeast Asia. Today, customers book up to 1.5 million rides every day through Grab’s service, which holds more than 400,000 drivers, according to the company.
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In August 2015, Grab raised $350 million in funding, and it has since opened an engineering office in Seattle, as well as teamed up with fellow ride-hailing companies Didi Chuxing in China, Ola in India, and Lyft in the U.S. to work on letting their customers book rides through each other’s services. Since June, Grab customers have been able to request a ride through Lyft when traveling in the U.S. right from Grab’s app, and vice versa for Lyft passengers.
Read more on Grab: Meet the Leader of Southeast Asia’s Most Popular Ride-Hailing Service
Now, with at least $1 billion still in the bank, Grab says it plans to focus on growing its business in Indonesia, continuing to invest in technologies to make its driver-rider matching more efficient, and further expanding GrabPay, the company’s mobile wallet feature. The latter is an area of particular importance to Grab, which sees the large percentage of unbanked consumers in Southeast Asia--63% of Indonesia’s population, for example--as an opportunity to build and provide new services.
Grab previously raised nearly $700 million in funding from investors including Tiger Global Management, GGV Capital, Coatue Management, and Vertex Ventures.