Ride Hailing Startup, Grab – the biggest rival to Uber Technologies Inc in Southeast Asia, has raised US $750 million in a funding round in equity financing, increasing its total capital position to over US$1 billion. This funding round was led by Softbank with participation from new and old investors in the U.S. and China.
With this raised capital, Grab plans to expand its services in Southeast Asia mainly Indonesia — where Grab is competing against Uber as well as a smaller company called GoJek — while also developing its mobile wallet called GrabPay and continuing to work on its machine learning capabilities in the company’s labs in Beijing, Seattle and Singapore..
Ride Hailing Startup Grab was founded in 2012 by Anthony Tan and Hooi Ling Tan 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.
“We are particularly excited about the growth opportunity in Indonesia, where we see an almost $15 billion market for ride-hailing services alone, as well as the potential to extend GrabPay’s platform regionally,” said Anthony Tan, CEO and co-founder.
Grab says it has 95 percent market share in third-party taxi-hailing services, while its private-car business has more than half of the Southeast Asian market.
Grab said it planned to invest in mobile payments capabilities in a region with low banking and credit card penetration and limited cashless payment options.
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.