Reports are emerging that Grab, the ride-hailing competitor to Uber in Southeast Asia, has just secured another US$2 billion of financing from Didi Chuxing, the company that killed Uber in China, and Japanese heavyweight SoftBank.
Sounds like that move of your HQ from Malaysia to Singapore, in order to facilitate growth, was a good idea.
If true, the new injection of cash makes Grab’s value over $6 billion, doubling its last round that saw it come in at US$3 billion valuation.
Anthony Tan, group CEO, and co-founder told Tech Crunch:
“We are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with Didi and SoftBank. We’re encouraged that these two visionary companies share our optimism for the future of Southeast Asia and its on-demand transportation and payments markets, and recognize that Grab is ideally positioned to capitalize on the massive market opportunities.”
The move, in effect, is a double down from Didi and SoftBank, affirming the belief that Uber’s future in the ASEAN region can go the same way as China and Russia. Last August, Uber sold its Chinese intrest to Didi. This month, they sold their Russian stakes to local upstart Yandex. The end may be nigh for the once ubiquitous Uber in this part of the world, and Didi and SoftBank are hedging their bets.
Grab operates in 36 city markets across seven countries in Southeast Asia, with over 50 million app downloads, and 1.1 million drivers. 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.
However, a dark horse on the horizon for both Grab and Uber is Go-Jek, the Indonesian on-demand platform that is the market leader in the world’s largest archipelago. This becomes an important factor in the picture when you consider that Indonesia is currently projected as being the source for half of the revenues cashed in from ride sharing services in the region by 2025. Google’s report last year forecasted expected growth from US$2.5 billion in 2015 to US$13.1 billion by 2025.
This means a whole lot of focus on the Indonesian market, with investments and acquisitions to facilitate ease in use of service, with offline payment start-up Kudo among their buys.
We here in Malaysia watch with bated breath, from exponentially dilapidating MRT seats.