Grab, the leading ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia, has raised US$750 million in equity financing, increasing its total capital position to over US$1 billion. With this transaction, Grab becomes the best capitalized technology startup and mobile internet company in Southeast Asia. SoftBank, a long-term strategic partner to Grab, led an expanded, oversubscribed round, with participation from both new and existing investors.
Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with up to 1.5 million daily bookings. Today, Grab offers private car, taxi, delivery and carpooling services across 6 countries and 31 cities in Southeast Asia, with 1 out of every 4 passengers using multiple services. Going forward, Grab will leverage its US$1 billion capital position to continue expanding its transportation services in Southeast Asia, home to 620 million people, and a rising population of middle class and mobile users, especially in Indonesia.1 In addition, Grab will also significantly invest in mobile payments capabilities, to enable a seamless daily transaction experience in a region with low banking and credit card penetration and limited cashless payment options.2
“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. We are particularly excited about the growth opportunity in Indonesia, where we see an almost US$15 billion market for ride-hailing services alone, as well as the potential to extend GrabPay’s platform regionally. I am confident in our technology, data science and machine learning platforms, which have continued to scale to support our bold ambitions in the region,” said Anthony Tan, Group CEO & Co-founder.
Tan added, “Grab has grown tremendously over the past year. This round of funding shows the confidence and optimism investors have in Grab’s market leadership and long-term potential in Southeast Asia. We are blessed to have great partners like SoftBank, many of whom have unparalleled track records of investing in leading internet businesses in emerging markets, and seeing those companies through to become the core of internet ecosystems in each market.”
“Grab is the clear winner in the Southeast Asia mobile space. Anthony and his team have made impressive progress in building out Southeast Asia’s largest mobile internet company. 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,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO, SoftBank Group Corp.
1 Nielsen (2014) estimates Southeast Asia’s middle class to grow from 190 million in 2012, to 400 million by 2020, and Jefferies (2016) forecasts Southeast Asia’s interest users to grow from 250 million today to 350 million by 2018.
2 According to the World Bank and Federal Reserve, in Southeast Asia, there are 264 million adults (43% of region’s population), who are still unbanked. Credit card penetration is estimated at only 9% vs. 70% in the U.S.
Key areas of investment and growth opportunities
Given the large market opportunity in Southeast Asia, Grab will continue to invest in:
Growing Indonesia. Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest market with 250 million people, over a third of the region’s population. Grab will further expand the diversity, density and efficiency of its services in Jakarta, a congested city with 30 million people, where we believe our GrabCar, GrabBike, GrabTaxi and GrabFood services are relevant and transformative. In Indonesia, our GrabCar and GrabBike services grew 250x in one year as of the end of 1H2016, and continue to grow exponentially. In addition, Grab is excited to bring its localized services to more major cities across Indonesia.
Developing GrabPay. With 43% of the population unbanked, Southeast Asia remains a largely cash-based transaction economy today with room to develop better mobile payment options. With GrabPay, we aim to provide a seamless mobile payment solution for our users. As a start, Grab has partnered with Mandiri, Indonesia’s second largest local bank, to offer a mobile wallet service. In Indonesia, we are also long-term partners with Lippo Group, with whom we are implementing an e-money payments platform that will enable users to use GrabPay at Lippo’s department stores, hypermarts, cinemas, coffee shops and e-commerce platform. We also recently partnered with Citi to enable cardholders to use Citibank points to pay for Grab rides – this is the first ridesharing partnership for the global bank. We plan to further strengthen the technology and expand the range of local payment solutions available through GrabPay for users across Southeast Asia.
Driving efficiency with technology, machine learning and data science capabilities. Grab will continue to invest in data science and machine learning capabilities to support Grab’s tremendous growth and enable services like predictive demand and driver and user targeting. Grab continues to hire top international talent in its R&D centers in Singapore, Beijing and Seattle, develop innovative features like Flash that pools cars and taxis, improve back-end routing capabilities, and build its proprietary POI mapping database.
Since its Series E funding in August 2015, Grab has nearly quadrupled its total number of drivers and active users, as well as rides volume. Today, the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 21 million mobile devices and users have access to over 400,000 drivers to meet their transportation needs.
For more information, please visit: http://www.grab.com.