Grab eyes financial technology business; to raise fresh capital

Grab, the biggest ride-hailing firm in South-East Asia and Uber’s foremost competitor, is planning to venture into financial services business, and may raise fresh capital in near future to complement the strategy. The startup, buoyed by the high usage of its payments arm GrabPay, aims to transform into a consumer technology firm that also offers loans, electronic money transfer and money-market funds. Anthony Tan, Grab’s co-founder and CEO, hinted about the startup’s strategy, and said that “These are all things under consideration for sure. Whether we are to execute any anytime soon, I can’t share that off the top of my head”.

The startup facilitates more than 2.5 million rides every day in over 55 cities and 930,000 drivers across the South-East Asian region. It has been providing financial services to its drivers which it seeks to expand now that it is focusing on finance as a business stream.

Grab is valued at over ~$3 billion, and counts major players as its investors such as Didi Chuxing, China Investment Corp, Japan’s SoftBank Group and Vertex Ventures Holdings. The startup is banking big on its GrabPay service, and aims to make it as the center of its future model. Adding on to the importance of payments arm, the co-founder further added that “You will see more happening across the region with GrabPay. The first big thing was obviously the Kudo acquisition, the second one is building an engineering centre dedicated to payments”.