Grab snags more funds to push current round to $2B

Ride-sharing operator raises another US$1 billion from a group of financial backers that include Vulcan Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, following a previous US$1 billion pledge from Toyota Motor.

Grab has rounded up a group of financial backers to snag another US$1 billion in its current round of funding, pushing the overall amount raised to US$2 billion.

The Southeast Asian ride-sharing operator in June unveiled that Toyota Motor had invested US$1 billion to facilitate further development in connected cars and mobility. It gave the Japanese automotive manufacturer a seat on Grab's board and a Toyota team member an executive officer role.

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The addition of another US$1 billion came from a band of financial investors that included OppenheimerFunds, Cinda Sino-Rock Investment Management Company, Vulcan Capital, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

The funds would be tapped to expand Grab's portfolio of online-to-offline (O2O) services, the Singapore-headquartered company said in a statement Thursday, as well as drive its ambition to be an "everyday super app", in which it aimed to facilitate essential services consumers needed daily, including transport, food, and payments.

Apart from its ride-sharing service, Grab's current crop of offerings include its GrabPay mobile payment platform, GrabFood food delivery service, and GrabExpress parcel delivery service.

It added that the latest funds also would be used to grow its footprint in Indonesia, which was home to more than half of its network of 7.1 million micro-entrepreneurs who operate on its platform.

It also formed a partnership with Indonesian mobile wallet and rewards platform, OVO, which clocked more than 60 million downloads.

Grab's latest investment coup followed after Singapore's Competition and Consumer Commission last month said the merger between Grab and Uber's Southeast Asian operations impeded local market competition. The commission had proposed several remedies to "restore market contestability", including the removal of exclusivity obligations and lock-in periods on Grab drivers and rental partners.

The market competition watchdog added that it was seeking public feedback on its proposed remedies to determine if these were adequate in preventing anti-competition practices as a result of the Grab-Uber merger. The two companies might be asked to disband and reverse the acquisition if the remedies were found to be insufficient, following public consultation, it said.