The battle between Grab and Uber, popularly used ride-hailing apps in Southeast Asia, takes a new turn. Grab takes a lead by grabbing yet another investment but this time from a new investor — Tokyo Century. This is a second major investment in the cab aggregator in the present quarter.
Tokyo Century is a financial services firm headquartered in Japan. Though the sum of the investment deal is not revealed by both sides, Grab confirms a great impact of the deal in all operating regions.
The investment will majorly be used to offer packages to drivers to own their vehicles. The strategy being to increase the pool of Grab drivers. Previously, a partnership with National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA) was led by the company to increase its driving force.
Other than that president Ming Ma says the investment will be used to develop financial services(exclusive digital wallet service) and expansion of Grab’s auto finance business across Southeast Asia. Presently functional in 34 cities in 6 countries, the company will also focus on additional rental, leasing and financing options for its drivers. However Uber, the prime rival is offering such leasing options to its drivers since 2015.
Two months back, the ride-hailing giant had secured an enormous investment of $750 million from Softbank. With the current valuation of $3bn and eminent investments in hand Grab gives a big blow to Uber.
Grab also constantly tries to bring changes in its app. Innovations like Grabchat, an instant messaging app for speedy pickups and credit storing in GrabPlay service in past months are stepping stones towards its success. Further, the mobility giant is working towards a mobile payments platform. This service is being developed to get consumers to get acquainted with the rapidly changing digital sector. It will also add to the convenience for its riders.
Ming Maa, president of Grab comments:
With the broadest portfolio of transportation solutions across Southeast Asia, Grab is proud to offer the largest vehicle fleet of any rideshare platform in the region.
Ever since its exit from China, Uber has started pumping more capital as well as laying focus on growth of its operations in India and southeast Asian. But we’ll have to wait and see how tech-focused Uber will tackle the flooding war chest of its rivals.