GrabTaxi, on-request taxi service operating in Southeast Asia has swooped $350 million in a funding round led by China Investment Corporation along with other investors like Coatue Management LLC and China’s mobile car-ride hailing company Didi Kuaidi. This funding round has raised the funding amount more than $700 million.
Launched in 2012, GrabTaxi competes with companies like Uber with the operations in 26 countries that include Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It’s team has more than 110,000 drivers across the Southeast Asia region.
“This investment is not only a statement on GrabTaxi’s dominance in the region, but also the growth potential of Southeast Asia on a global level,” said Anthony Tan, GrabTaxi’s group chief executive and co-founder. He also added, “As one of the leaders in the region we have been able to attract top global talent to our brand as well as secure investment from great partners like Coatue and CIC.”
With this round of investment, GrabTaxi enters into the list of ‘one of the best funded startups in the history of Southeast Asia,’ though the investment would look mere in comparison with Uber’s $7 billion and Didi’s $3.5 billion. Japanese giant telecoms firm SoftBank Corp and Singapore state-linked investment firm Temasek Holdings are also investors of the company. “Anthony and the team have achieved incredible growth so far and we look forward to helping continue that momentum,” said Jean Liu, president of Didi Kuaidi.
Though the Grab Taxi has been primarily focusing on the taxis till now, it has also expanded its services into motobikes called GrabBike and into private cars called GrabCar which are upcoming demands of the market. With the new funds, it plans to expand these services further and improve its technology.
The market for taxi-hailing app is expanding in the Southeast Asia especially Singapore, which is considered one of the expensive place to own a car. Also, the high road traffic in cities like Manila and Jakarta makes it difficult to ride a car or find a taxi where these on-request cabs proved to be very useful.