Southeast Asia’s most popular ride-hailing company is getting a $1.5 billion cash boost from SoftBank’s massive tech fund as it seeks to strengthen its presence across the region.
Singapore-based startup Grab said Wednesday that it aims to use the money to add more services to its app, which already goes well beyond just ride-hailing. It also plans to invest in Indonesia, where it’s competing aggressively against its smaller rival GoJek.
The latest funding values Grab at about $14 billion, according to a person familiar with the company. That’s up from a valuation of $11 billion last year.
Softbank (SFTBF)’s $100 billion Vision Fund is already a significant investor in Grab and other major ride-hailing companies such as Uber. Led by SoftBank’s founder and CEO, Masa Son, the Saudi-backed fund has become a key player in the global tech industry, pouring big sums into startups like WeWork.
A spokeswoman for Grab declined to comment on what percentage of the company’s shares the Vision Fund now owns. SoftBank didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Since driving Uber out of Southeast Asia last year, Grab has stepped up the competition with regional rivals like GoJek, which is headquartered in Indonesia. GoJek launched on Grab’s home turf of Singapore last year.
Fending off GoJek
Both companies have expanded beyond ride-hailing, and are trying to create irreplaceable “super apps” that offer customers everything from food delivery to financial services.
Grab said in a statement Wednesday that it will invest a “significant portion” of the fresh funds in Indonesia, beefing up its on-demand car and motorcycle services and food delivery platform.
It will also use the new money to introduce new services to its users across Southeast Asia such as on-demand video, insurance and hotel bookings.
Grab dominates the ride-hailing industry in the eight countries in the region where it operates. In an interview with CNN Business in December, Grab President Ming Maa said the company expects to double revenues this year to $2 billion.
While other big ride hailing firms such as Lyft and Uber have made moves to go public this year, Grab has no plans for an IPO, Maa said at the time.