Ride-hailing giant Grab to invest US$2 billion in Indonesia with SoftBank funds


Ride-hailing giant Grab is investing US$2 billion in Indonesia over the next five years, using funds from Japan’s SoftBank Group to boost its presence in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, the firms said yesterday.

The Singapore-based firm has seen its business grow rapidly since it bought US-based rival Uber’s regional ride-hailing and food business in March last year in exchange for a 27.5 percent stake in Grab.

Its Indonesian investment will focus on building a next-generation electric vehicle transport network and rolling out e-healthcare services to improve access to doctors and medical services across the archipelago.

The announcement came after SoftBank last week said it would partner with tech firms including Apple and Microsoft in a new US$108 billion investment fund.

It is the long-mooted successor to its mammoth Vision Fund, which took stakes in leading tech start-ups from Uber to WeWork.

“Indonesia’s technology sector has huge potential,” SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son said in a statement.

“I’m very happy to be investing US$2 billion into the future of Indonesia through Grab.”

The Japanese firm has also invested in Grab, which competes with Indonesian ride-hailing giant GoJek, and offers a host of services, including food delivery and bill payments.

On Monday, Grab also announced plans to build a second headquarters in Indonesia that will house a research and design center.

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