Reuters, citing sources with knowledge of the matter, reported the $500 million is part of a $1 billion round of funding Grab is aiming to raise. Total funding so far at Grab has been $6 billion, with SoftBank, Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Toyota Motor investing in the company. At that point Grab was valued at $11 billion, noted the report.
The potential investment on the part of SoftBank comes at a time when Grab is facing increased competition from Go-Jek, the Indonesian ride-hailing company. Earlier this week TechCrunch reported Go-Jek is gearing up to expand into Singapore. According to a report, Go-Jek is expected to land in Singapore as early as October. The report noted that Go-Jek decided to go after the Southeast Asia market after Uber exited in March. Go-Jek first expanded into Vietnam and then Thailand. A source with knowledge of the plans told the news outlet that Go-Jek will be in the Singapore market by the end of October. The startup is in talks with investors to raise $2 billion.
In August, Go-Jek rival Grab escalated its fight with the company, announcing that it plans to invest $250 million in Indonesian startups over the next three years through its new innovation arm. Earlier in the month, the Singapore-based firm revealed that it had raised $2 billion in funding in recent months, adding that it will use a significant portion of the proceeds to continue investing in Indonesia. One way to do that is through its Grab Ventures arm, which will develop technology startups in sectors beyond ride-hailing. Grab has more than 7.1 million micro-entrepreneurs on its platform, more than half of whom reside in Indonesia.