Ride-hailing firm Grab raises $1.5 billion from SoftBank

By Prosyscom
In March 6, 2019

Grab, the Southeast Asian tech company that offers a range of transport-focused services covering ride-hailing, ride-sharing, food delivery, and logistics, has raised another $1.5 billion, taking its series H round to a hefty $4.5 billion.

The latest cash injection arrived via the SoftBank Vision Fund (SVF), a $100 billion investment fund set up by Japan’s SoftBank, which has previously invested in Grab alongside other big names including Microsoft, Toyota, and Hyundai.

“The investment is a clear statement of belief in our vision to grow Southeast Asia’s technology ecosystem as the region’s number one super app,” noted Grab CEO and cofounder Anthony Tan. “Looking ahead, we aim to continue improving the lives of many millions of Southeast Asians by providing enhanced income opportunities through our platform, and giving our users more choice and convenience.”

Grab has now raised nearly $9 billion since its inception in 2012, almost double that of Lyft in the U.S., though roughly a third of Uber which has raised around $25 billion. Both Uber and Lyft are scheduled to go public in the coming months, while Grab has given no indication of any immediate IPO plans.

Grab bolstered its growth last year when it merged with Uber in Southeast Asia, revealing that its revenue doubled between March 2018 — when the merger was announced — and December 2018. This deal represented the third such consolidation effort by Uber after selling its Chinese arm to Didi Chuxing which was followed by a merger with Yandex.taxi in Eastern Europe. However, Grab and Uber’s deal faced stiffer scrutiny by regulators, with Singapore eventually slapping the duo with a $9.5 million fine by the anti-trust watchdog, in addition to other competition measures.

With another $1.5 billion in the bank, Grab said that it plans to double down on its existing services and launch new ones, covering parcel delivery, digital payments, financial services, and more.

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