Didi, SoftBank invest US$2b in Grab

China’s leading ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing has co-led the latest financing round of Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand transport service Grab. [File Photo] 

China’s leading ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing has co-led the latest financing round of Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand transport service Grab as Didi embarks on its latest drive to globalize.

Didi and Japan’s SoftBank Group will jointly invest up to US$2 billion to reinforce Grab’s dominant position in the region, according to a joint statement yesterday.

Grab will raise an additional US$500 million from existing and new investors to boost the total size of the fund raising to US$2.5 billion.

“By deepening our strategic partnership, Didi and Grab reaffirm our shared commitment to innovating localized solutions to global urban development challenges and both companies look forward to working together with communities and policymakers in the region to fully embrace the opportunities in the upcoming transportation revolution,” Didi founder and CEO Cheng Wei said in a statement.

Grab boasts a transport fleet consisting of 1.1 million drivers and its service is available across seven countries and 65 cities. The company handles nearly 3 million rides daily. Its proprietary cashless top-up payment service GrabPay Credits was also launched in December last year.

Didi first participated in Grab’s fund raising in 2015 and in January this year, the Chinese company made a strategic investment in Brazil’s mobile transport platform 99 as it expanded.

Didi’s latest funding drew US$5.5 billion — announced in April — and lured investors like Softbank Group Corp, private equity firm Silver Lake, China Merchants Bank and Bank of Communications.

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