So whenever there’s a mention of massive capital in South-east Asia, it goes synonymous with Grab these days. And once again, that has been proven true. Grab announced that it will be investing $2 billion in Indonesia over five years. This venture will be backed by SoftBank Group which invested $1.46 billion in the company earlier this year.
“We are delighted to facilitate this SoftBank investment, as we believe by investing in digitizing critical services and infrastructure, 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,” said Anthony Tan, CEO of Grab.
A group consisting of Joko Widodo (President of Indonesia), Masayoshi Son (Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group), Anthony Tan (CEO of Grab) and Ridzki Kramadibrata (President of Grab Indonesia) discussed investment opportunities in the technological sector in the country and raising local tech startups and micro-ventures. At its core, the discussion was focused on Indonesia’s desire to become Southeast Asia’s largest digital economy.
Grab, which was originally founded 7 years ago in Malaysia, has grown out to become a decacorn in the Southeast Asian region. The company has expanded its operation in countries such as Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia. According to a CSIS and Tenggara Strategic research report, Grab contributed $3.5 billion to Indonesia’s economy last year. Grab provides several services, that’s why SoftBank Group has decided to employ the company to develop and improve critical services in Indonesia.
The core services provided by the company include GrabCar(ridesharing service), GrabTaxi (a taxi service), GrabFood (food takeaway and delivery), GrabExpress (delivery service), and GrabBike (bike-sharing service). GrabFood is the largest food delivery service in the Southeast Asian region. In 2017, Grab launched Grab 4 Indonesia 2020 master plan through which it has invested in many Indonesian startups.
As a part of this investment, Grab will establish its second headquarter in Jakarta. This headquarter will act as the company’s R&D and house dual headquarters for GrabFood. This will open up job opportunities for the local talent as well as help them acquire essential skills through partnering with regional universities.
Grab said that within the next three months it will be launching e-healthcare services in Indonesia. The aim of launching these services is to increase the accessibility of medical and health facilities for Indonesian citizens.
“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,” said Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs. “We look forward to working with Grab, the fifth unicorn in Indonesia, and SoftBank to empower SMEs, accelerate tourism, and improving health services.”
And those technology sector plans are really big. As an example, SoftBank, along with Grab plans to establish a next-gen transportation network in the country. This network will be based on electric vehicles to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
“Indonesia’s technology sector has huge potential. I’m very happy to be investing $2 billion into the future of Indonesia through Grab,” said Masayoshi Son.
I’m a physics major and a writer. My interests include theoretical physics, applied mathematics and advanced tech.