July 25, 2017 — Hughes Hubbard is representing Singapore-based Grab, Uber Technologies Inc.’s largest rival in Southeast Asia, in a record-breaking round of financing for a startup in the region.
On July 24, Grab announced that Chinese peer Didi Chuxing and Japanese telecommunication giant SoftBank Group Corp. would invest up to $2 billion in Grab’s current financing round. With an additional $500 million that Grab says it expects to raise from existing and new investors, the reported total sum of $2.5 billion would be the largest single financing in the history of Southeast Asia.
“We are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with Didi and SoftBank,” said Anthony Tan, CEO and co-founder of Grab. “With their support, Grab will achieve an unassailable market lead in ridesharing, and build on this to make GrabPay the payment solution of choice for Southeast Asia.”
The round will reportedly value Grab at a $6 billion, cementing its position as the most valuable tech startup in the region. HHR also advised the ride-sharing service in raising $750 million in equity financing in September.
Grab says it will use the funds to continue expanding into the highly lucrative Southeast Asian market, particularly in Indonesia. It is also investing in data science and machine learning capabilities to enable services like predictive demand and driver and user targeting.
“Our vision is to drive Southeast Asia transportation forward and transform the region’s mobile internet ecosystem,” Tan said.
Founded in 2012, Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region. Grab offers private car, motorbike, taxi and carpooling services in 65 cities across seven countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
The financing drew coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC.com and other media outlets.