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Uber Partner Grab Flags Down $2 Billion Investment -- Update

2 Aug 2018 4:58 am
By Julie Steinberg and Liza Lin 

Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab Inc. said Thursday it raised $2 billion in a round of fundraising, providing extra firepower to confront a new challenge to its regional position.

The round includes a previously announced $1 billion investment by Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corp., with new investors such as Oppenheimer Funds, Ping An Capital, and Mirae Asset's Naver Asia Growth Fund participating, the Singapore-based company said. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the fundraising announcement was imminent.

The latest infusion would value the Singapore-based company at $11 billion, one of the people said. Grab is already one of Southeast Asia's most valuable startups, along with Lazada Group, an e-commerce firm backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Grab President Ming Ma said in an interview that a "significant amount" of the funds raised would be deployed in Indonesia, where the company operates ride-sharing, transportation and payment services. The company will continue to expand with Southeast Asia as its focus, he said.

In March Grab agreed to take over Uber Inc.'s Southeast Asian business. The financing comes as it battles a second deep-pocketed rival, PT Go-Jek Indonesia.

Go-Jek, which counts Alphabet Inc.'s Google and U.S. investment firm Warburg Pincus among its investors, said earlier this year it would spend $500 million to expand in the region of more than 600 million consumers. Go-Jek, which started out offering motorcycle-hailing in Indonesia, plans to introduce car-hailing and take on Grab in countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

By the annual value of services, Southeast Asia's ride-hailing market is projected to grow about four times to $20.1 billion by 2025 from $5.1 billion in 2017, according to a report from Google and Singapore state-investment firm Temasek Holdings, which has also invested in Go-Jek.

Grab is backed by investors including Japan's SoftBank Corp., Chinese counterpart Didi Chuxing Technology Co. and auto makers such as Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. Uber took a 27.5% stake in Grab after merging its Southeast Asia operations with the company.

Grab also is expanding into mobile payments and on-demand grocery and meal delivery, and has rolled out a news feed featuring localized reviews and content. The company has said it wants to make Grab an "everyday superapp" serving consumers' daily needs.

Newley Purnell contributed to this article.

Write to Julie Steinberg at julie.steinberg@wsj.com and Liza Lin at Liza.Lin@wsj.com
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 02, 2018 00:58 ET (04:58 GMT)

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