Grab wants $2B more to fund expansion drive

Less than a month after securing $1.46 billion from Softbank Vision Fund, mobile app platform Grab is seeking another $2 billion to further drive its expansion efforts in the region, specifically Indonesia, where it says it will be four times bigger than its closest rival by end-2019.

Grab is seeking another $2 billion in funds this year to drive its expansion plans in Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia, where it says it will be four times bigger than its closest rival by the end of 2019. The announcement comes less than a month after it secured $1.46 billion from Japan's Softbank Vision Fund, which has been investing in the mobile app platform since 2014. 

If successful, the latest funds would push its total capital to $6.5 billion by the end of the year, said Grab in a statement on Monday. The company, which started out as a ride-sharing operator, said it was looking to "invest aggressively" and make at least six investments of acquisitions in the region in 2019. 

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Grab last month said it had snagged $4.5 billion in its Series H funding, which included SoftBank's $1.46 billion investment and other investors such as Toyota Motor, Hyundai Motor Group, Microsoft, and Ping An Capital.

Grab's co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan said the funds injection would enable the company to expand across its key service offerings including payments, transport, and food delivery. "At our current growth rates, we expect to be four times bigger than our closest competitor in Indonesia and across the region by the end of the year," Tan said. 

Grab's president Ming Maa added that Southeast Asia's current digital boom presented opportunities in sectors such as healthcare and financial services, which the mobile platform was keen to tap through new investments and acquisitions this year. 

Maa also pointed to Indonesia as a key focus market and where the company would invest a "significant portion of fresh proceeds". 

According to Grab, its revenue in the Asean nation more than doubled last year and its GrabFood delivery service now is available in 178 cities across the archipelago, up from 13 in early-2018. Citing figures from ABI Research, Grab added that it had 62 percent of the Indonesian ride-hailing market. 

Grab reported $1 billion in revenue last year, where its financial business arm also secured money licenses in six Southeast Asian markets. It currently has seven research and development facilities across the region, including Singapore, Beijing, Jakarta, and Bangalore, and in Seattle, USA.

Its Indonesian competitor Go-Jek also has been looking expand its presence in the region, having recently launched its ride-sharing app and service in Singapore. Backed by investors that included Google, Tencent, and Temasek Holdings, Go-Jek is tapping Singapore as its regional hub and base to drive its expansion across Southeast Asia.

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