Grab is said to be the “Asian Uber” but it’s much more than that. They also offer financial services and yes – funding for your startup with Grab Ventures.
Grab operates a mobile technology platform that integrates city transportation for driver-partners and customers in South East Asia. It offers services like GrabTaxi, GrabCar, GrabHitch, GrabShare, GrabCoach, GrabShuttle, GrabShuttle Plus, GrabFamily, JustGrab, GrabNow, and GrabRental.
Grab offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Lng founded it in 2012 and is headquartered in Singapore. It has additional offices in Seattle, Beijing, Bangalore, Jakarta, and Vietnam.
Grab has raised $10.1B from 22 lead investors according to Crunchbase, from names like Hyundai Motor Company, Microsoft, Softbank Vision Fund, HSBC, Honda Motor, Toyota Motor Corporation, Tiger Global Management, and many others.
According to Wikipedia, GrabTaxi app has had 1.2 M downloads:
In May 2014, GrabTaxi said it had 1.2 million downloads. At around June 2013, it claimed to be doing one booking every eight seconds, or 10,000 a day, representing sixteen-fold growth within a year. In November 2017, Grab reached one billion rides with 66 concurrent rides in one second across seven countries, occupying 97% market share in the third-party taxi hailing market and 72% in the private vehicle hailing market. The company also claimed to have two million driving partners, 68 million mobile app downloads, and 3.5 million daily rides. In December 2018, Grab claimed to have served 920 million kilometers worth of rides to its users that year.
What’s interesting is that Grab is not involved in any public controversies or shady dealings, aside from messing up an open source map project, some technical glitches and overcharging customers. These are clearly fixable problems and not systemic. Recently, Alibaba said they are going to pour $3 Billion into Grab:
Recent news of Alibaba Group’s US$3 billion investment into ride-hailing company Grab is the latest of its ventures in Southeast Asia as it looks for global expansion, says Li Jianggan. SINGAPORE: Recent reports about Alibaba’s US$3 billion investment into Grab has raised speculation about the terms of the investment as well as the merits and the challenges of this potential major tie-up.
Grab seems to be on a roll, but is it just luck? The company was founded in 2012, operates in 8 countries 351 cities and metro areas; so this isn’t vapor paper. Grab has a real business that serves an economic NEED (vs. a ‘want’) – but unlike Uber, Grab has intelligently used its user base to expand into other areas like micro-finance and other vertical markets like food delivery.
Users can read this article “How Grab defeated Uber as the world’s largest ride hailing company” —
The co-founders Anthony Tang and Tan Hooi Ling had to work hard to get both drivers and customers on board. Their first target was to get their primary customers which were drivers to get on board. And for that, they decided to meet drivers at their local hangout places and the airports. There, they used to pitch the idea of Grab to all the drivers one by one. They wanted to sign up as many drivers as possible and that’s why they adopted a unique method. In this method, one person would pitch the idea of the Grab to the driver while the other one would note down the driver’s information and sign him up. They repeated this process with several other drivers. Thus in the matter of a few minutes, they were able to sign up multiple drivers. Slowly Grab started to grow as a reliable on-demand taxi service. However, the big test was yet to come.
This seems to be a genuine grassroots business story. They literally grabbed drivers off the street. Perhaps our American peers Uber, Lyft, and others can take note of how Grab cracked a complex market (Asia).
https://news.crunchbase.com/news/grab-secures-200m-from-stic-investments/ Singapore-based ride-hailing startup Grab continued its funding streak, acquiring another $200 million from Seoul-based private equity firm Stic Investments, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/29/softbank-pumps-2b-into-indonesia-through-new-grab-investment-putting-it-head-to-head-with-gojek/ Grab — the on-demand transportation app worth $14 billion that is the Uber of Southeast Asia — today announced how it would be using some of the $7 billion or so that it has raised to date: $2 billion provided by SoftBank is being earmarked Grab’s operations in Indonesia — the biggest economy in Southeast Asia — over the next five years, to help it go head-to-head with local rival Gojek.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is in talks to invest $3 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. The Chinese e-commerce giant, a sole investor in the round, will spend a portion of the funds to acquire some of the Grab stock held by Uber Technologies Inc., one of the people said, asking not to be named as the discussions are private. The deal may represent one of Alibaba’s biggest bets on Southeast Asia since its first investment in Lazada in 2016.SIGN UP