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Grab Raises $1.5bn from SoftBank in Bid to Become World's Top 'super app' 
ECONOMY Singapore

Grab Raises $1.5bn from SoftBank in Bid to Become World's Top 'super app' 

Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing service Grab has raised $1.5bn in new funding from SoftBank’s Vision Fund and will use a significant portion of it to expand in Indonesia, where it's competing aggressively against its smaller rival GoJek, the Telegraph reported.

Singapore-based startup also said that it aims to use the money to add more services to its app, which already goes well beyond just ride-hailing. 

The company, which was founded in 2012 as a ride-hailing service, has expanded to become a “super app” that includes features such as food delivery and mobile payments.

A GrabBike rider in Jakarta. Grab plans to use a lot of the recent money it has raised to beef up its business in Indonesia. Image: CNN Business
A GrabBike rider in Jakarta. Grab plans to use a lot of the recent money it has raised to beef up its business in Indonesia. Image: CNN Business

The fresh investment brings the total financing secured by Grab over the past year to more than $4.5 billion, making it the largest private investment round in the region.

Grab has seen its business grow rapidly since it bought US-based rival Uber's regional ride-hailing and food business in March last year. 

“The investment is a clear statement of belief in our vision to grow Southeast Asia’s technology ecosystem as the region’s number one super app,” said Grab CEO and cofounder Anthony Tan, as quoted by Venture Beat.

Above: A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore March 26, 2018. Image: REUTERS/Edgar Su
Above: A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore March 26, 2018. Image: REUTERS/Edgar Su

“Looking ahead, we aim to continue improving the lives of many millions of Southeast Asians by providing enhanced income opportunities through our platform and giving our users more choices and convenience.”

Grab dominates the ride-hailing industry in the eight countries in the region where it operates. In an interview with CNN Business in December, Grab President Ming Maa said the company expects to double revenues this year to $2 billion. 

While other big ride hailing firms such as Lyft and Uber have made moves to go public this year, Grab has no plans for an IPO, Maa said at the time.

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