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Published on : Jul 24, 2017

Grab, a Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm, has managed to raise US$2 bn from SoftBank Group Corp. and Didi Chuxing. The funding will not only help the company in having an upper hand over Uber Technologies Inc. in Southeast Asia, but also in enhancing its payments platforms. The company expects to get another US$500 mn from new and existing investors, bringing the total to US$2.5 bn – which would be the largest-ever venture fundraising in the region. This would lead to its valuation worth US$6 bn, making it the most valuable startup in the region.

Uber to Increase Focus on India and Southeast Asia

Over the past few years, Southeast Asia has emerged as the primary battleground for technology start-ups striving for cementing their prominence in a market of more than 600 million people, with a widening base of the middle-class population as well as internet-savvy demographic. In the region, Uber is competing fiercely in terms of price with local players such as Grab and Go-Jek. These local players are putting in constant efforts to launch services such as digital payments, which is providing them an edge over the international player. Uber is expected to shift focus from China to India and Southeast Asia.

Grab Plans to Transform into Consumer Tech Firm

With the soaring number of users of its mobile app and GrabPay function, the start-up, which is now five-year old, is aiming to transform into a consumer technology company that also provides loans, money-market funds, and electronic money transfer. Grab acquired Indonesian payment service provider Kudo earlier this year. The firm is seeking more acquisitions in the coming years in order to ensure rapid growth.