Funding

Grab Bags Over US$850M From Japanese Investors To Co-Develop Financial Products In SEA

[Update, 25 Feb 2020]

Grab announced today an investment of over US$850 million from two Japanese investors, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and TIS Inc.

MUFG, the largest bank in Japan, invests US$706 million, while TIS, Japan’s leading provider of network solutions and system integration services, invests US$150 million.

The investment will go towards creating accessible and affordable financial services to “boost financial inclusion” in Southeast Asia.

Grab’s partnership with MUFG was first hinted at last week when anonymous sources with knowledge of the deal had spoken to the media.

In its statement today, the ride-hailing firm confirms that it will work with MUFG to co-develop “next generation financial products and services” to cater to the needs of Grab users, driver-partners and food delivery-partners.

It will also work with TIS on developing emerging payment technologies, and enhancing the digital payment infrastructure in Southeast Asia and Japan.

Said Grab President Ming Maa, “We are excited to work with our partners MUFG and TIS to co-develop financial products and solutions for the region. Ensuring greater access to affordable and accessible financial services and products is key to growing financial inclusion in Southeast Asia.”

Grab is gaining a new 80 billion yen (about US$726 million) investment from Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), in a capital and business alliance between the two.

According to a Nikkei report on Wednesday (19 February) citing anonymous sources close to the matter, Grab and MUFG plan to announce their collaboration soon.

The deal will see both companies jointly developing a range of financial services including loans and insurance, to be rolled out on Grab’s app.

Grab has been continuously ramping up its financial arm as one of the units that will potentially push the business towards profitability.

Earlier this month, Grab acquired Singapore-based robo-advisor startup Bento to take on their retail wealth management solutions.

The service will be rebranded under the name GrabInvest and is slated to launch in Singapore by mid 2020.

Grab is also one of 21 bidders in Singapore currently vying for a digital banking license, which the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will be issuing by mid 2020.

Teaming up with Singtel, they plan to meet the needs of “digital-first consumers” and underserved SMEs if their application is successful.

Featured Image Credit: Reuters / South China Morning Post

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