Grab, which is based in Singapore and serves eight countries in Southeast Asia, announced on Wednesday that it had secured nearly $1.5 billion from the SoftBank Vision Fund, the technology investing arm of the Japanese conglomerate.
With this latest funding, Grab said it had raised more than $4.5 billion in its current financing round from investors that include Toyota, Hyundai, Microsoft and Booking Holdings, the online travel services company. Grab is now valued at around $14 billion, according to a person briefed on the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.
Last year, Grab acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia operations, a move aimed at expanding its presence in both food delivery and rides. Grab said that between March 2018, when the tie-up with Uber was announced, and the end of last year, its transport revenue almost doubled, while its food-delivery revenue grew 45 times.
The “super-app” concept is already well established in China. WeChat drew in users with its messaging and social media capabilities, but is now just as importantly a tool for making payments, playing games, signing into gyms and more. Meituan, which began life as a Groupon-like service for buying vouchers from local merchants, branched out into takeout delivery, bike rentals, movie tickets and a host of other services.
Grab’s main rival in Southeast Asia, Go-Jek, has also made its name catering to a variety of needs within its app.
The new pile of cash from SoftBank deepens the Japanese investor’s stakes in the worldwide ride-hailing industry. It made a first big bet on Grab in 2017, and has also invested in Uber, Didi Chuxing of China and Ola of India.