GrabTaxi to drive SEA expansion with $350M funding

Ride-sharing service secures it largest round to date and will be tapping the funds to further drive the company's expansion plans across the Southeast Asian region.

GrabTaxi Holdings has secured another round of funding totaling more than US$350 million as the ride-sharing service looks to expand its footprint across Southeast Asia.

Its largest round to date, the latest funding included investors from China and the US, and pushes its overall funding to some US$700 million, the company said in a statement Wednesday. US investment firm Coatue Management, and China's sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation as well as Did Kuaidi participated in the latest funding exercise, joining GrabTaxi's existing list of investors that include Japan's Softbank and Singapore's Vertex Venture Holdings.

Didi is the leading ride-sharing service in China, where it operates in 360 cities and processes 3 million taxi rides and 3 million private car rides each day.

With the Chinese company now an investor, GrabTaxi will be looking to work closely with Didi to "leverage" each other's experience, said group CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan. He noted that the startup's ability to pool such a significant amount in funds underscored the growth potential of Southeast Asia.

The latest investment will be used to expand GrabTaxi's services and engineering sites in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Beijing, the company said. It currently operates in 26 cities across six countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Its network comprises more than 110,000 drivers across Southeast Asia, where it processes 11 bookings per second. Its app has clocked more than 6.1 million downloads.

Founded in July 2011, the startup offers ride-sharing services via taxis, private cars as well as motorbikes--all of which are available through its GrabTaxi app.

In April, GrabTaxi opened a US$100 million R&D facility in Singapore to tap data analytics and identify market trends to drive its growth strategy.