Business

Grab eyes another $2.7 billion funding this year: CEO

Grab aims to raise another US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) this year as it ramps up expansion, its chief executive said.

It comes just weeks after announcing over US$4.5 billion of funding in what has become South-east Asia's largest round of private financing.

"We expect to raise US$6.5 billion of total capital this year," Mr Anthony Tan said in an interview yesterday, in which he laid out Grab's strategy to become an app-for-everything in South-east Asia - home to about 650 million people.

Grab later said in a statement that it expects to invest a significant portion of the funds in Indonesia. Reuters first reported the funding target earlier yesterday.

"We basically received a very strong vote of confidence. And Masa shared that SoftBank is very happy with Grab and that SoftBank will provide unlimited support to power our growth," said Mr Tan, referring to SoftBank Group Corp founder and CEO Masayoshi Son. SoftBank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The funding will be raised from strategic investors and be a mix of debt and equity, said Mr Tan.

Grab's massive financing round started shortly after the firm bought the South-ast Asian operations of US peer Uber Technologies Inc in March last year.

Singapore-headquartered Grab is expanding aggressively in Indonesia, home of rival Go-Jek.

Both are raising billions of dollars to bring ride-hailing, food delivery, e-commerce and banking to a populous region with a growing number of consumers that use smartphones to commute, shop and make payments.

Both Grab and Go-Jek started out in ride-hailing and have since amassed millions of users with cut-rate prices. Go-Jek's backers include Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alphabet Inc's Google. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE