Grab Taxi Holdings, the Singapore ride-hailing company and Uber Technologies’ largest rival in Southeast Asia, is in the processing of raising $2 billion in venture capital (VC) funding.
According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal late last week, the paper cited people familiar with the matter as saying that the $2 billion is coming from Japan’s SoftBank and Didi Chuxing Technology, the Chinese ridesharing company. The deal is expected to happen in the next few weeks.
With the cash infusion, Grab would gain a market value greater than $5 billion, noted the Wall Street Journal. “We will not be commenting on any market rumors or speculation,” a Grab spokeswoman said in the report. SoftBank and Didi spokespeople also declined to comment. Grab’s past investors include GGV Capital and Chinese investment fund Hillhouse Capital Group. In 2016, the company raised $750 million in a round of VC funding that SoftBank led.
While Uber is the most well-known ridesharing app in Southeast Asia, Grab’s app is more popular in many markets, noted the report, citing App Annie, a mobile app analytics firm.
But Uber and Grab are not the only carsharing companies operating in Southeast Asia. There are a lot of local competitors, including GoJerk, which is in Indonesia and focuses on motorcycle taxis. It has recently branched into food, package deliveries, cleaning services and other things.
The venture capital funding for Grab comes at a time when Uber is facing a lot of challenges, largely with the corporate culture at the company. Late last month CEO and Co-Founder Travis Kalanick officially resigned his position as head of the company. The move follows a grueling six-month journey for Uber marked by scandal after scandal and high-profile exits from the firm. Kalanick’s resignation reportedly came at the behest of investors as the firm attempts to rehabilitate its image and clean up the “bro culture” with which its name has basically become synonymous.