Grab, a giant in Southeast Asia, raises 1.5 billion dollars

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SHANGHAI – While Uber and Lyft are poised to become the first such company in the world, their peers abroad continue to raise huge sums of money through private investment.

Singapore-based Grab, serving eight Southeast Asian countries, said it had raised nearly $ 1.5 billion from SoftBank Vision, the Japanese conglomerate's technology investment arm.

With this latest financing, Grab said it has raised more than $ 4.5 billion in its current round of financing from investors such as Toyota, Hyundai, Microsoft and Booking Holdings, the online travel services company. . The seizure now accounts for about $ 14 billion, according to an informed person who has not been allowed to speak in public.

The list of donors of the company, aged seven, reflects the magnitude of its ambitions. Grab hopes that people will use their app not only to get around, but also to order meals, send parcels, pay for things offline and book hotel rooms, among other tasks.

Last year, Grab acquired Uber's Southeast Asia business, with the goal of strengthening its presence in the food retail and amusement ride sectors. Grab said that since last March, when the partnership with Uber was announced, his transportation income has almost doubled, while his food distribution income has increased by a factor of 45.

The concept of "super-application" is already well established in China. WeChat has attracted users with its messaging and social media capabilities, but is now just as important as a tool for making payments, playing games and connecting to gyms. Meituan, who started his life as a Groupon service for buying vouchers from local merchants, has diversified into the fields of takeaway delivery, bike rental and more. , movie tickets and a host of other services.

Grab's main rival in Southeast Asia, Go-Jek, is also making a name for responding to a variety of needs within its application.

The new SoftBank liquidity stack strengthens the Japanese investor's participation in the global recovery industry. He made a big first bet on Grab in 2017 and has invested in Uber, Didi Chuxing (China) and Ola (India).