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Grab to raise additional $2bn to accelerate Indonesia expansion

Grab to raise additional $2bn to accelerate Indonesia expansion

Grab plans to raise an additional $2 billion from SoftBank Group and other investors by the end of this year as it accelerates its expansion in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest market, Grab President Ming Maa told the Nikkei Asian Review in an interview on Monday.

Grab has raised $4.5 billion since last year, when the company received investments from global companies like Toyota Motor and Microsoft.

Over the past few years, SoftBank Group has put billions of dollars into the provider of Southeast Asia’s super app. Maa said SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son recently told Grab that his investment fund would provide “unlimited support” to the company.

Maa said this is reflective of the growth potential Son sees in the Singapore-based company.

Grab plans to secure the $2 billion “before the end of the year,” Maa said, and there will be a “variety of different investors.”

He declined to comment about other investors.

Maa said Grab will use most of the $2 billion to bring mobile payments and other services to the competitive Indonesian market.

Grab operates in eight Southeast Asian countries: Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. Indonesia leads the region in terms of population and gross domestic product — factors that spell huge growth opportunities.

Indonesia is also home to Grab’s biggest rival, Go-Jek; both platforms are in a race build out their digital ecosystems.

Maa also said Grab plans to make a total of six investments — acquisitions and minority share purchases — in companies that can help Grab expand this year. Maa said potential targets are tech companies, mostly in Southeast Asia.

He did not say how much Grab plans to use on the investments.

Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing industry had been a three-way race that also included Uber Technologies of the U.S. Since Grab acquired Uber’s regional operations early last year, the Singapore company has rushed to add nontransport services such as food deliveries and mobile payments to transform itself into a super app that consumers can turn to for a variety of services.

According to CB Insights, Grab is valued at $11 billion, making it Southeast Asia’s largest unicorn.