Ride-hailing giant GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. expects to see a twofold increase in revenue next year as Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup continues to grow outside its key industry.
Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan stated on Thursday that revenue will double from the $1 billion it predicted in 2018, as it adds the acquisition of Uber Technologies Inc.’s regional operations and looks further into new sectors such as bike-sharing and digital payments.
The Singapore-based tech firm is also set to raise $3 billion worth of funding before the end of the year, which includes a $1 billion investment from Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. This is so far the largest stake purchase made by an automotive manufacturer in a ride-hailing firm.
The value of six-year-old Grab is projected to climb more than $10 billion, following Toyota’s investment.
Besides Toyota, Grab’s other investors include auto companies Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Hyundai Motor Co., and ride-hailing group Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Uber bought a 27.5 percent stake in Grab earlier this year in exchange for its Southeast Asian business.
Rivalry between Grab and GO-JEK Heats Up
Grab’s revenue forecast and fundraising plans are further proof of its intensifying battle with its Indonesian ride-hailing counterpart GO-JEK.
Aiming to dominate the ride-hailing market of Southeast Asia, The Singaporean startup is expanding at a fast rate in the region populated by about 640 million people.
Tan said there is more greenfield than in any other region in the world because technology has not been able to truly shape the lives of the Southeast Asia region yet.
The financing round further heats up the competition for GO-JEK, which also intends to grow beyond its roots and enter Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Rapidly transforming from just being a ride-hailing app to a one-stop app, GO-JEK currently offers various app-based services like food and grocery delivery as well as movie ticket purchasing. The Jakarta-based company is also delving into areas such as finance and health care.
GO-JEK’s payment system GO-PAY has become one of the most popular mobile payment platforms in Indonesia as well.
GO-JEK founder Nadiem Makarim said last month the firm’s monthly users were at 20 million to 25 million, for whom it processes more than 100 million transactions. GO-JEK has also purchased three smaller payment system fintech companies last year.
Still, Grab is moving quickly against GO-JEK. With Japanese holding firm SoftBank Group Corp. and Didi Chuxing as it backers, the ride-hailing app is using its capital to broaden its reach in terms of geographic scale and business.
Since acquiring Uber’s Southeast Asian operations, Grab has set up a venture division and launched its platform to fellow startups that can offer additional services to its customers.
In March, the company introduced GrabCycle, the region’s first bike-sharing marketplace app, and e-scooter sharing platform Popscoot. Grab stated previously that the two ventures will help its sales reach $1 billion for the first time this year.
Tan said they decide to invest, go big now, just so they can reap the market that is ripe vis-à-vis growing organically and slower, adding that they want to establish a multi-generation company.
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