Grab, the Southeast Asia ride-hailing company, is gearing up to raise an additional $2 billion in funding during 2019 to bankroll its expansion.
Reuters, citing an interview with Grab Chief Executive Anthony Tan, reported the $2 billion potential fundraising effort comes weeks after it raised more than $4.5 billion in funding. “We expect to raise $6.5 billion of total capital this year,” Tan said in the interview. “We basically received a very strong vote of confidence. And Masa shared that SoftBank is very happy with Grab and that SoftBank will provide unlimited support to power our growth.” In a statement to Reuters later Grab said it plans to invest a lot of the funding in Indonesia. The company has been in expansion mode in Indonesia, aggressively investing money to lure customers away from rival Go-Jek. Both have landed millions of users since entering the market. Go-Jek is backed by Temasek, Tencent, and Google.
SoftBank is a big investor in Grab, with the relationship going beyond investing money. Tan said Grab has collaborated with SoftBank portfolio companies, which should help it with its expansion efforts. “That will help us grow very aggressively this year across our verticals — transport, mobility, food, and payments,” he said in the Reuters interview, referring to SoftBank’s support.
Outside of raising capital and focusing on Indonesian expansion, Tan told Reuters the company plans to make six buys or investments in 2019. The number of investments or purchases could exceed six if more opportunities arise. “With the amount of funding we have raised, and the support from strategic investors like SoftBank, we are so well-funded to execute on our expansion and investment plans, so there is really no need to IPO,” said Tan. Since launching about seven years ago, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters Grab has raised around $8 billion. Other investors include Microsoft, Hyundai Motor and Toyota Motor.