KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian ride-hailing start-up Grab, after becoming the leader in online-based transportation in Southeast Asia, now plans to expand into financial services.
The company is out to secure US$2.5 billion (RM10.7 billion), in what will be the largest single financing in the history of Southeast Asia for a start-up, according to a report in The Star.
China’s largest ride-hailing company, Didi Chuxing, and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, both existing investors in Grab, were expected to invest US$2 billion to lead the current round of funding, the report said.
With this latest round of funding, Grab could be valued at about US$6 billion.
“We are already a clear leader in online transportation in Southeast Asia with a 71% overall market share. We want to grow that further,” The Star quoted Grab group CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan as saying.
Tan said: “With the support of investors, Grab will achieve an unassailable market lead in ridesharing, and build on this to make GrabPay the payment solution of choice for Southeast Asia.”
The report said that Grab was expected to transform GrabPay into a consumer technology firm that would be able to offer loans, electronic money transfer and money-market funds. Grab bought Indonesian payment service Kudo earlier this year.
“We are always on the lookout for strategic investment opportunities in regional companies which have great technology and who share our vision to move Southeast Asia forward. We want to invest in developing and expanding GrabPay to become the mobile platform of choice for Southeast Asia,” Tan said.
Grab operates private car, motorcycle, taxi and carpooling services across seven countries in the region, with 1.1 million drivers. It recently entered the Myanmar market.
Grab, headquartered in Singapore, was founded by Tan and his partner Tan Hooi Ling. Both were studying in Harvard when they decided to start Grab five years ago, The Star reported.
Tan’s father, Tan Heng Chew, is the president of Tan Chong Consolidated while the Tan Chong group itself was founded by his grandfather, Tan Yuet Foh, and his grand uncle, Tan Kim Hor.