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September 21, 2016

Uber rival Grab raises $750m in $3b valuation

Funding led by existing investor Japanese Softbank.

By Ellie Burns

Grab, a rival to ride-hailing firm Uber in Southeast East, has raised $750m in a fresh round of funding led by its existing investor Japanese Softbank.

The company has fetched a post-money valuation of $3bn in the funding round, sources confirmed to TechCrunch.

The transaction has increased its total capital position to over $1bn.

Grab group CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan said: “Our vision is to drive Southeast Asia transportation forward and transform the region’s mobile internet ecosystem.

“This latest funding, the largest in the history of Southeast Asia consumer technology, strengthens our ability to pursue those long-term goals as we continue to build on our market leadership. “

Currently, the firm offers private car, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services across 6 countries and 31 cities in Southeast Asia.

The company plans to utilise the funds to expand its transportation services in Southeast Asia, which is home to 620 million people.

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It will also invest in improving mobile payments capabilities as the region has low banking and credit card penetration.

SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said: “We are committed to supporting local champions like Grab that have a vision for a next-generation internet ecosystem, and look forward to participating in their long-term success.”

SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son.

SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son.

Grab said that it will invest to expand the diversity, density and efficiency of its services in Jakarta, Indonesia. It services in the country include GrabCar, GrabBike, GrabTaxi and GrabFood.

The company also plans to roll out GrabPay to offer a mobile payment platform for its users. It has partnered with Indonesia’s second largest local bank Mandiri to provide a mobile wallet service.

In Indonesia, it is implementing an e-money payments platform with Lippo Group to enable users to use GrabPay at Lippo’s outlets.

Besides, Grab plans to make continued investments in data science and machine learning capabilities to support its growth and enable services like predictive demand and driver and user targeting.

In July, the company was said to be experimenting with a carpooling service in southern Malaysia to enable people to share rides, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The startup, which attracted funds from some of the major global investors, has also become a member of a global alliance of Uber rivals which include Didi, ANI Technologies’ Ola in India and San Francisco startup Lyft.

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