Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab said today it expects to raise Dollars 2.5 billion in financing, mostly from China's Didi Chuxing and Japan's Softbank, as it strengthens its lead over rival Uber.
Grab anticipates that it will raise an additional $500 million, bringing the total to $2.5 billion in this round from existing and new investors.
Grab competes with the likes of Uber, the world's largest ride-hailing service, and Indonesia's Go-Jek in Southeast Asia, which is fast becoming a battleground for startups vying for the attention of about 600 million people.
The company said it will use the funds to support the growth of its mobile payments platform GrabPay.
"DiDi and SoftBank will continue to support Grab's vision of helping consumers in Southeast Asia access safe transportation and financial products whilst creating employment opportunities", it said. While their service is primarily using licensed taxis and private cars, their scope also extends to motorbike taxis, shuttle bus services, and carpooling in several markets.
Southeast Asian ride-hailing service Grab expects to raise US$2.5 billion in a record round of fundraising to cement its lead over Uber Technolgies in the region and grow its payments platform.
Founded in Malaysia in 2012, it offers private auto, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services and holds 95% market share of "third-party taxi hailing" in the region, operating almost 3 million daily rides. "We look forward to continuing to work with our valued partners in the future".
This is not the first time SoftBank is investing in the ride-hailing company, leading the funding round last September as well as reportedly pouring in US$1 billion in March this year. Today, the company claims that its app has been downloaded onto over 50 million smartphones and used by 1.1 million drivers.
"Both companies look forward to working together with communities and policymakers across Asia to fully embrace the extraordinary opportunities in the upcoming transportation revolution".
Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, said, "We are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with DiDi and SoftBank".
Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive of SoftBank, described Grab as "a tremendously exciting company in a dynamic and promising region". Grab also has GrabPay, a cashless top-up payments option, which they claim has grown more than 80 percent month on month since its launch in December 2016.