Grab bags US$4.5bn funding for new services and Indonesia expansion

Grab has received US$1.46 billion of fresh funding from the Softbank Vision Fund, bringing its secured financing in current Series H round to over US$4.5 billion. Grab will channel the investment into new on-demand video, digital healthcare, insurance and hotel booking services announced in 2018. According to the press statement, a "significant portion" of the proceeds will go into its expansion in Indonesia, where its revenue had more than doubled in 2018.

Grab plans to expand its verticals such as financial services, food delivery, parcel delivery, content and digital payments. Meanwhile, it is also building new services on Grab’s open platform, GrabPlatform, in partnership with video streaming provider HOOQ; e-healthcare solution Ping An Good Doctor; insurer ZhongAn International; and hotel booking platform Booking Holdings.

In Indonesia, Grab will use the fresh capital to boost the expansion of GrabFood and GrabExpress and roll out new verticals in the country. Grab is part of the largest digital payments ecosystem in Indonesia through its partnership with OVO and Tokopedia, said the company. Operating in 178 Indonesian cities from 13 at the start of last year, Grab had seen delivery volumes growing almost 10 times in 2018.

Anthony Tan, Grab’s co-founder and CEO said, “The investment is a clear statement of belief in our vision to grow Southeast Asia’s technology ecosystem as the region’s Number 1 super app. Looking ahead, we aim to continue improving the lives of many millions of Southeast Asians by providing enhanced income opportunities through our platform, and giving our users more choice and convenience.”'

On a group level, Grab’s transport business has grown robustly since the merger with Uber in Southeast Asia, almost doubling its revenue from March 2018 to December 2018. GrabFood’s revenue grew 45 times in that time period. GrabFood is present in six countries across 199 cities. In 2018, Grab Financial Group became the only platform to have access to e-money licenses across six of the largest Southeast Asian economies. Since its launch in March 2018, Grab Financial Group has seen its monthly transactions grow by almost five times to December 2018. In the same period, GrabExpress also increased instant and same-day delivery volumes by more than three times regionally, and is now available in 150 cities.

Besides the Softbank Vision Fund, other investors included Toyota Motor Corporation, Oppenheimer Funds, Hyundai Motor Group, Booking Holdings, Microsoft Corporation, Ping An Capital, and Yamaha Motor.

Grab has recently added video content on its platform for its consumers in four Southeast Asia markets, including Indonesia. Also in February, the ride-hailing giant told Marketing about its plans to fold GrabFood under the main Grab app in Singapore within the first half of 2019 and the possibility of establishing a central kitchen for GrabFood.