Grab is Set to Raise $1 Billion
As Uber Technologies Inc. turns away from China, a competitor is raising funds to cement its dominance in Southeast Asia and fend off the tech titan based in San Francisco.
Uber’s decision to sell its China business to Didi Chuxing Technology Co. is giving Singapore-based Grab renewed confidence it can take on Uber and win on its home turf. Grab says it has captured much of Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing market with more than half of private-car rides in the region.
Valued at $1.6 billion in its previous funding round, Grab is planning to raise about $1 billion in fresh capital from investors including Didi and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.,a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday. The first chunk of that fundraising, a $600 million dose, is expected to be completed this week, the person said.
The stakes are high for Grab and Uber in Southeast Asia. The ride-hailing market there is forecast to grow more than five times to $13.1 billion by 2025 from $2.5 billion last year, according to a recent report from Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Singapore state-investment firm Temasek Holdings.
Grab, which was launched in 2012 and offers private-car, taxi and motorcycle rides, operates in 30 Southeast Asian cities across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The company currently has about $400 million in cash on its balance sheet before the new fundraising, according to the person familiar with the situation.