Grab is set to gain the largest tech start-up investment in Southeast Asia
Established in 2012, car hailing company Grab is Asia’s equivalent of US’ Uber, could be set to gain the largest tech start-up investment ever. Asia’s answer to US’ Uber, Grab has raised $2.5 billion from investors, such as Didi Chuxing and SoftBank. However, the company is also set to raise a further $500 million through other investments, highlighting its force within the market.
It is the largest single financing in the history of Southeast Asia. Grab currently is in operation in over 30 cities across Southeast Asia, but is attempting to expand within an extremely competitive market.
The company has recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, providing up to 3 million daily rides, and has become one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region. Grab has also provided higher incomes for approximately one million drivers, providing leisurely transportation for 620 citizens in Southeast Asia.
Through the investment, Didi Chuxing and SoftBank will continue to support Grab’s vision of helping consumers in Southeast Asia access safe transportation and financial products whilst creating employment opportunities. Grab is by far the most dominant on-demand transportation platform in the region with a market share of 95% in third-party taxi-hailing and 71% in private vehicle hailing.
The company will continue to strengthen its already-leading market position and invest in GrabPay, its proprietary mobile payments solution.
Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, said, “We’re encouraged that these two companies share our optimism for the future of Southeast Asia and its on-demand transportation and payments markets, and recognize that Grab is ideally positioned to capitalize on the massive market opportunities.
With their support, Grab will achieve an unassailable market lead in ridesharing, and build on this to make GrabPay the payment solution of choice for Southeast Asia. We look forward to continuing to work with our valued partners in the future.”
The company has also recently opened its sixth research and development centre in Jakarta, in order to create five million micro-entrepreneurs in Indonesia by 2018, and develop its Indonesian tech workforce. It has also developed its carpooling options, in order for users to reduce their fares by 30% whilst they travel, but also to reduce its carbon emissions per annum.
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.