Southeast Asia’s Grab ride-hailing service has announced some $750 (about RM3.1 billion) million in new equity funding. This brings its current capital to over $1 billion (about RM4 billion). A large portion of this new funding comes from existing backer Softbank.
Grab is planning to use the new investments to expand its reach across Southeast Asia, with Indonesia identified as a particularly important country. According to the announcement, both GrabCar and GrabBike services grew by 250 times in Indonesia during the first half of 2016. This is particularly impressive as the company is only operating in Jakarta.
Mobile payment options through GrabPay should also be seeing additional expansion from here on out. While the company has already partnered with the Citigroup to allow Citibank points to be used as currency for booking rides, it is also looking into expanding its working relationship with Indonesian Lippo group. The goal is to see GrabPay used in Lippo’s stores, cinema’s and e-commerce platform.
At the moment, a lion’s share of the new investment seems to be headed to expanding Grab’s operations in Indonesia. Nothing was mentioned about its businesses in the rest of Southeast Asia; although there is likely something going on in the background.
Grab is currently operating in five cities in Malaysia, with both Malacca and Kota Kinbalu being recent additions to its services. It also rolled out the option for Malaysians to pay for transportation using Citibank card points, although it is too early to say if this is gaining any traction among users.