SoftBank to invest US$2B through Grab to grow Indonesia’s digital infrastructure

Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant Grab announced today it will invest US$2 billion into Indonesia over a period of five years using the funds injected by SoftBank to accelerate the development of the country’s infrastructure.

The investment will go towards creating a next-generation transportation network for cities and transforming how critical services like healthcare are delivered, as per a press statement.

The initiatives were announced after a meeting between Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo; Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group; Anthony Tan, CEO of Grab; and Ridzki Kramadibrata, President of Grab Indonesia, at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta. The group discussed Indonesia’s ambition of becoming the largest digital in Southeast Asia over the next few years, by focusing on investment opportunities in the technology sector and developing homegrown technology talent.

SoftBank, which invested US$1.46 billion in Grab earlier this year, will seek to grow its presence in Indonesia.

To play its part in helping Indonesia achieve this ambition, SoftBank will invest the US$2 billion into the country through Grab to drive the digitisation of crucial services and infrastructure. Grab and SoftBank will invest to create a next-generation transport network for Indonesia based around an electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem that will drive cities toward a greener and cleaner transportation grid. Both will also develop geo-mapping for Indonesia, in order to drive the country’s development and adoption of future technologies.

Grab will also launch affordable e-healthcare services in Indonesia, within the next three months, aiming to increase access significantly to doctors and medical services for all Indonesians.

Along with this, Grab has also announced plans for a second headquarters in Indonesia. It will house Grab’s rapidly growing R&D centre in Jakarta and will be the dual headquarters for the GrabFood business.

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Grab’s second headquarters will focus on developing solutions that empower micro-entrepreneurs, like Grab-Kudo agents. Relevant solutions will be introduced to other Southeast Asian emerging economies. The new HQ will also provide career opportunities to thousands of Indonesians, and upskill more local tech talent in with leading Indonesian universities.

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

Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan said: “Supported by the growing economy, Indonesia has a good investment climate where we are working together to boost the ease of investment in Indonesia. This investment is evidence that Indonesia has been on the radar of investors, especially in the technology sector. We look forward to working with Grab, the fifth unicorn in Indonesia, and SoftBank to empower SMEs, accelerate tourism, and improving health services.”

Grab CEO Tan said: “With our presence in 224 cities, Indonesia is our largest market and we are committed to long-term sustainable development of the country. 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.”

Since 2017, Grab has invested over US$1 billion into Indonesia through its “Grab 4 Indonesia 2020” master plan, and its commitment to invest into Indonesian startups. Grab aims to double the number of micro-entrepreneurs in the country in five years, with this additional US$2 billion commitment to Indonesia.

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