Grab stronger than ever as its secures another $200M backing
Southeast Asian super app Grab is raising US$200 million from South Korean private equity firm Stic Investments.
The Seoul based investor is looking to increase its exposure in SEA, and is looking to ride on the coat-tails of the region’s super app – which has been unswayed by the impact of the pandemic – to do so.
Stic Investments will be investing around US$100 million from its own funds, while sourcing the rest from co-investors.
Grab’s suite of digital, on-demand services has seen it well-positioned to not only ride out, but prosper from the recent circumstances. The app’s ability to quickly on-board workers and individuals to its ride-hailing and food delivery services have provided a lifeline in a stalled economy. Work retrenchments and furloughs in SEA saw an additional 115,000 people sign up to the app’s ridesharing service to become Grab drivers.
Its digital payments service GrabPay also benefited from a rise in online, e-commerce spend and a preference for contactless, cashless payments among customers and merchants.
The latest investment makes the Singapore-based firm one of the most well-funded startups in the region. It’s raised more than US$10 billion to date, including $US3 billion from investment giant Softbank.
“The impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods is real and many of our partners are still undergoing tremendous hardship,” Sean Goh, Managing Director of Grab Malaysia, told Tech Wire Asia in a recent interview, where he attributed the app’s adaptability and decisive reactions to its navigation of the crisis.
“We are now adjusting to the importance and subsequently increased demand for delivery services – food, dry and fresh groceries, health and wellness products – while mitigating the pandemic’s impact on our driver and merchant partners’ livelihoods where we can,” he said.
“COVID-19 has highlighted how gig work is critical and the gig economy model is here to stay. It will be part of the spectrum of work models companies and individuals can turn to and will be a key lever to ensure people can maintain their livelihoods, especially through challenging economic times ahead.”