Days after signing a peace deal and taking over Uber’s Chinese ride-hailing business, Didi seems to be igniting the flames of enmity once again. But this time it isn’t in its homeground. Bloomberg reports that Didi Chuxing and Japanese Internet giant Softbank are teaming up for a new round of funding in Grab — Uber’s fiercest rival in Southeast Asia.
According to people close to the development, both tech giants are pooling resources to pump over $600 million into the operations of the Singaporean ride-hailing service. This round of funding is expected to close as early as next week and would push the total bank balance of Grab close to a billion dollars. The anonymous source also added that the company is looking to round-off this round by raising another $400 million in the following weeks.
Singapore-based Grab, previously known as GrabTaxi, has been operating in the Southeastern countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The company, which started as a taxi aggregator, has also been pumping more money into bulking up, expanding its operations and fending off competition from Uber.
Grab CEO Anthony Tan had recently also released a statement stating that the victory of Didi, a local competitor in its country, proves that it is also capable of pushing out Uber from Singapore and neighbouring countries. In a memo sent out to his employees saying that,
With the deal in China, we expect Uber to turn more attention and divert resources to our region. But we have seen that when the local champion stays true to their beliefs and strengths, they can prevail. We see this happening in China, and it will be the same here.
Didi has already won the ride-hailing war in China, and this investment — if it goes through — might prove that Didi isn’t backing off from the Anti-Uber alliance that it forged with other ride-hailing services including Grab, Ola and Lyft. Didi might be gearing up to show Uber that it is ready to take it in the battleground, with the ultimate goal of world domination.
Founded in 2011, Grab has managed to secure about $700 million in five rounds of funding, with participation from a pool of marquee investors. Last year, Didi had used some funds from its flooding war-chest and invested $350 million into the ride-hailing service. It also made similar monetary investments into other alliance members as well.
But, the most surprising and recent news coming from China was the acquisition of UberChina by the Chinese ride-hailing giant, Didi Chuxing. The company have decided to pool resources to chase their aim of profitability and Uber had agreed to fold its operations for a 17% equity stake in the combined entity. Both the CEOs of the ride-hailing giants have joined the other’s board.