Alibaba May Be Gearing Up To Invest In Grab


Just after Grab announced it had acquired Uber’s Southeast Asian ridesharing operations, Alibaba is reportedly preparing to invest in Grab. The size of the potential investment and Grab’s future valuation with such a deal is not yet clear, TechCrunch reported.

A spokesperson for Alibaba told the newswire the company “doesn’t confirm on market rumors.” And Grab declined to comment on TechCrunch’s story.

The two companies reportedly discussed a tie-up last summer, but those talks didn’t result in an investment, as Alibaba was busy pursuing a deal with Indonesia’s Tokopedia, which took precedence, as rival Tencent was far along in an investment that would also give the company exposure to Indonesia.

While the timing of the potential investment is uncertain, there is reportedly intent from both companies — along with SoftBank, an investor — to see the deal come to fruition. However, there are governmental hurdles to overcome. The Competition Commission of Singapore has voiced concern that the transaction could violate the law, and other countries are also analyzing the pair-up.

The news comes as GO-JEK, the delivery and ride-hailing company located in Indonesia, has raised $1.5 billion in venture capital funding. According to news from Reuters, GO-JEK raised $1.5 billion from investors that included BlackRock and Google. The funding total was higher than the $1.2 billion the company was hoping to raise. With the investment money, Reuters noted GO-JEK is now valued at roughly $5 billion and will be able to compete better in Southeast Asia, which is characterized by a highly competitive market where incentives are given to both drivers and customers to gain market share and build loyalty.

GO-JEK told Reuters that some of the $1.5 billion investment was part of a fundraising round that started in 2017. It declined to say how much was raised and didn’t name the investors. The funding will be used to develop technology for micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses in Indonesia.


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