Southeast Asia's Grab mops up US$1 billion funding from financial firms

PHOTO: Reuters

SINGAPORE - Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab on Thursday said it has secured new investment of $1 billion (S$1.37 billion) from a clutch of financial firms, including global asset manager OppenheimerFunds and China's Ping An Capital.

The funding comes after Toyota Motor Corp in June bought a $1 billion stake in Grab as the lead investor in a financing round launched following Grab's acquisition of Uber Technologies Inc's operations in Southeast Asia.

Grab said other investors in the new funding include Microsoft Corp co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Capital, Macquarie Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Six-year-old Grab, which counts Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Japan's SoftBank Group Corp among its backers, was valued at just more than $10 billion after Toyota's investment, a source familiar with the matter said at the time.

Grab, which started as a taxi-booking app, has been transforming itself into a consumer technology group, offering services such as digital payments and food delivery.

Earlier this year, Uber sold its Southeast Asian business to Grab in exchange for a stake in the Singapore-based firm, in a deal that has prompted regulatory scrutiny.

Grab said it would use the new funds to expand its online-to-offline services in Southeast Asia.

It plans to use a significant portion of the proceeds to invest in Indonesia, Southeast Asia's biggest market where Go-Jek is the dominant player in ride-hailing.

Go-Jek counts Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, private equity firms KKR & Co LP, Warburg Pincus LLC and venture capital player Sequoia Capital among its investors.