Grab, the Ride-Hailing Startup Investing $2 Billion in Indonesia's Infrastructure

Through a partnership with SoftBank, the startup aims to assist Indonesia in its ambitions to become Southeast Asia's largest digital economy.

30.07.2019 | by Reve Fisher
Photo by Asia One
Photo by Asia One

Ride-hailing company Grab is investing $2 billion into Indonesia’s digital infrastructure.

Founded in 2012, the Singapore-based company offers ride-sharing services for taxis, private cars, and motorbikes through one app, including GrabCar (taxis and private cars), GrabBike (motorcycle taxis), GrabExpress (last mile delivery), GrabShare (ride sharing) and GrabFood (food delivery).

The company currently serves users in eight countries: Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.

In March, the multi-billion-dollar company raised $1.46 billion from SoftBank’s Vision Fund. These funds, which increased the startup’s valuation to $14 billion, were used to advance its app in Southeast Asia and provide its users with greater accessibility and convenience, as well as everyday services.

Now, the Singapore-based startup’s recent funds, courtesy of Japan’s SoftBank Group, will be used to advance public infrastructure and digitisation to propel Indonesia to become Southeast Asia’s biggest digital economy.

“With our presence in 224 cities, Indonesia is our largest market and we are committed to long-term sustainable development of the country,” Anthony Tan, CEO of Grab, said in a statement. “We are delighted to facilitate this SoftBank investment, as we believe by investing in digitizing critical services and infrastructure, we hope to accelerate Indonesia’s ambition to become the largest digital economy in the region and improve the livelihoods of millions in the country.”

Over the next five years, Grab will design and manufacture a “next-generation transportation network” featuring an electric vehicle ecosystem throughout Indonesia, shifting the country towards a greener and cleaner transportation system. The initiative also aims to improve the way that critical services, including healthcare, are delivered in the country.

Both Grab and SoftBank plan to also create geo-mapping solutions to help Indonesia develop and adopt future technologies.

“Indonesia’s technology sector has huge potential,” said Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank. “I’m very happy to be investing US$2 billion into the future of Indonesia through Grab.”

Grab will also establish a second headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, to better address the specific needs of customers throughout the country. As one of Indonesia’s five unicorn companies, Grab will provide thousands of jobs for local citizens and collaboration opportunities for tech talent in partnership with local universities.

“As a technology decacorn, Grab very well understands the needs and challenges we have here,” said Ridzki Kramadibrata, president of Grab Indonesia. “We are also well positioned to support more high tech industries and infrastructure companies originating from Indonesia.”

Since 2017, Grab has invested $1 billion into Indonesian startups. Through this addition $2 billion investment, the company hopes to double the number of micro-entrepreneurs in the country.

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