Updates: We added a comment by Grab spokesperson.
Singapore-based ride-hailing giant Grab is raising US$200 million from South Korean private equity firm Stic Investments Inc., according to a Bloomberg report.
Despite a layoff caused by the pandemic’s effect on the business, the funding round indicated that investors continue to pour in support to the tech giant.
Seoul-based investor Stic Investments Inc –whose portfolio companies also include Big Hit Entertainment, the company behind worldwide K-pop sensation BTS– has been planning its Southeast Asian expansion and has set aside US$100 million to invest in this region.
What Grab aims to do with the funding has not yet been revealed.
The company is currently valued at US$14.3 billion, according to CB Insights. Early this year, it also managed to raise more than US$850 million in funding from Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and TIS Inc.
This year’s pandemic has given the various impact on the Southeast Asian tech startup ecosystem. While several verticals are seeing a rise in popularity, such as health tech and e-commerce, others are finding themselves in a difficult position as investors become more careful.
An example of such company is fellow Southeast Asian unicorn Traveloka, which saw its valuation decreasing with its latest funding announcement, in what it called a “historic” drop. As a travel tech startup, the company is hit hard by the downturn faced by the travel and tourism industries in general, due to lockdown and border closure measures implemented in many countries.
A Grab spokesperson has declined to comment on the story.
This article was first published on e27, on Aug. 4, 2020.