After making investments in Indian e-commerce companies Housing.com, Ola and Snapdeal, Japanese Corporation Softbank has now led a USD 250 million funding round in Malaysia-headquartered taxi app, GrabTaxi. Including this round, GrabTaxi has secured a total capital of USD 340 million in 4 rounds from 5 investors, till date. Last month, Softbank had also invested USD 50 million funding round in Australia based Bigcommerce.
As per ET report, Anthony Tan, GrabTaxi’s chief executive and founder, said “This new round of funding will help drive our mission of revolutionizing and improving the way Southeast Asians commute more aggressively than ever before,”
Grab taxi is also backed by Singapore’s investment firm Temasek Holdings, operates in 17 cities across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.
The GrabTaxi app has been downloaded around 2.5 million times. It sees over 500,000 monthly active users, and claims a network of more than 60,000 drivers. The company was founded by Tan in 2012, recently closed USD 65 million in Series C funding round led by new investor Tiger Global, with participation from existing investors Vertex Ventures, GGV and Chinese travel company Qunar.
The other player in this space is Lyft, which raised USD 250 million earlier this year to expand into global markets. Other taxi apps in Southeast Asia include Indonesia’s Blue Bird, EasyTaxi that is backed by German startup incubator Rocket Internet, as well as London-based Hailo which operates in Singapore.
In July this year, EasyTaxi has secured USD 40m in Series D funding led by the Russian Phenomen Ventures with participation of Tengelmann Ventures, the investment company of Germany’s multi-sector retailer Tengelmann Group.
With in Southeast Asia, GrabTaxi rivals Uber operates in the six markets where it also has its operations. And, these last two investments will be utilized to have a strong arm over its rival in SEA region.