Uber's SE Asia rival Grab raises .5 billion

Updated 2017-07-24 15:43:09 CGTN

Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab has raised 2.5 billion US dollars from investors including its Chinese peer Didi Chuxing, and Japan's SoftBank, in a record round of fundraising to cement its lead over Uber in the region.

With a population of more than 600 million, Southeast Asia has become a key battleground for technology startups vying for the fast-growing market.

Grab's existing shareholders Didi and Softbank have put a further two billion US dollars into Grab, while the Singapore-based company has raised a further 500 million US dollars from other new and existing investors, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Grab claims a market share of 95 percent in "third-party taxi hailing" and 71 percent in private ride railing in the region, with nearly three million daily rides. It said it would use the new funds to strengthen its position in ride-hailing and invest in GrabPay, a mobile payments platform that it hopes to expand in markets with under-developed banking systems like Indonesia.

Grab competes with the likes of Uber, the world's largest ride-hailing service, and Indonesia's Go-Jek.

Uber has been expected to increase its focus on India and Southeast Asia after retreating from China last year.

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