Ride-sharing giant Grab has just announced today that Didi Chuxing and Softbank Group Corp. is set to invest up to US$2 billion to lead Grab’s current financing round.
Grab also anticipates that an additional US$500 million will be raised from existing and new investors – making this the “largest single financing in the history of Southeast Asia”.
Said Anthony Tan, Group CEO and co-founder of Grab, “We are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with Didi and SoftBank. We’re encouraged that these two visionary companies share our optimism for the future of Southeast Asia and its on-demand transportation and payments markets, and recognise that Grab is ideally positioned to capitalise on the massive market opportunities.”
“With their support, Grab will achieve an unassailable market lead in ridesharing, and build on this to make GrabPay the payment solution of choice for Southeast Asia. We look forward to continuing to work with our valued partners in the future.”
Didi Chuxing, a Beijing-based ride-sharing company is said to serve more than 400 million users across 400 cities in China, and acquired Uber’s China arm in August last year for US$35 billion.
Earlier in April, they closed an over US$5.5 billion financing round – a record in tech funding.
Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi, said, “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. By deepening our strategic partnership, DiDi and Grab reaffirm our shared commitment to innovating localised solutions to global urban development challenges from the world’s fastest growing marketplaces.”
The ties between Softbank and Didi Chuxing also aren’t merely via the Grab deal – according to the Wall Street Journal, the Japanese company was also said to be looking to invest US$6 billion in the latter in March, in a bid to push self-driving technologies.
The Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation has also been an active investor in tech solutions, having invested in India’s Paytm, US’ WeWork, among others.
This is all part of their US$100 billion Vision Fund.
Added Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., about the Grab deal, “Grab is using technology to address transportation and payments, some of the biggest challenges present in Southeast Asia, and we believe Grab is a tremendously exciting company in a dynamic and promising region. SoftBank is excited to deepen this partnership and we look forward to continuing to support Grab’s journey.”
Grab is reported to serve 620 million people in SE Asia, and their app has since been downloaded onto over 50 million mobile devices.
Featured Image Credit: Reuters