People wait for the start of ride-hailing company Grab’s fifth anniversary news conference in Singapore in June 2017. Picture: REUTERS
People wait for the start of ride-hailing company Grab’s fifth anniversary news conference in Singapore in June 2017. Picture: REUTERS

Singapore — Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab expects to raise $2.5bn in financing, mostly from China’s Didi Chuxing and Japan’s Softbank, as it strengthens its lead over rival Uber.

Didi, China’s ride-hailing leader, and mobile giant SoftBank will invest up to $2bn, while $500m is expected to come from other new and existing investors.

Grab said it amounts to the largest single financing in Southeast Asia. Both Didi and SoftBank are already investors in Grab.

The Singapore-based firm said it would use the fresh funds to bolster its leading position in the ride-hailing industry and invest in a mobile payment platform called GrabPay.

"We are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with Didi and SoftBank," said Anthony Tan, Grab’s group chief executive and co-founder.

"With their support, Grab will achieve an unassailable market lead in ride-sharing, and build on this to make GrabPay the payment solution of choice for Southeast Asia."

Grab said it has a market share of 95% in third-party taxi-hailing and 71% in private-vehicle hailing in Southeast Asia, far ahead of main rival Uber.

Grab offers private car, taxi, motorbike and carpooling services in seven countries and 65 cities across Southeast Asia, a region of 650 million people.

"Starting with transport, Grab is establishing a clear leadership in Southeast Asia’s internet economy based on its market position, superior technology, and truly local insight," Didi founder and CEO Cheng Wei said.

"Both companies look forward to working together with communities and policymakers across Asia to fully embrace the extraordinary opportunities in the upcoming transportation revolution."

SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son described Grab as "a tremendously exciting company in a dynamic and promising region".

AFP

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