Faaez Samadi
Jul 30, 2019

Grab unveils huge Indonesia play with US$2b from SoftBank

Investment includes a new second headquarters in Jakarta.

(L-R): Anthony Tan, Grab CEO; Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO, SoftBank Group; Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Indonesia coordinating minister for maritime affairs; and Ridzki Kramadibrata, Grab Indonesia president
(L-R): Anthony Tan, Grab CEO; Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO, SoftBank Group; Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Indonesia coordinating minister for maritime affairs; and Ridzki Kramadibrata, Grab Indonesia president

Grab has announced a new vision to dramatically increase its footprint in Indonesia, through a US$2 billion investment in the super app from principal investor SoftBank.

The funds, to be invested over five years, will move through Grab to help boost Indonesia’s digital economy and improve critical transport infrastructure, according to a joint release from Grab, SoftBank and the Indonesian government. It will focus on creating a next-generation transport network, a green vehicle ecosystem, and geo-mapping solutions to drive greater technological innovation, according to the companies.

In addition, Grab says it is launching e-healthcare services in Indonesia within the next three months, and will also create a second headquarters in Jakarta, which will house Grab’s R&D centre and serve as a dual headquarters for GrabFood.

Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs, said: “This investment is  evidence that Indonesia has been on the radar of investors, especially in the technology sector. We look forward to working with Grab, the fifth unicorn in Indonesia, and SoftBank to empower SMEs, accelerate tourism, and improving health services."

Anthony Tan, Grab CEO, said Indonesia is the brand’s biggest market and that Grab is “committed to long-term sustainable development of the country”.

The investment is a clear signal of Grab’s ambitious plans to challenge its closest rival, Gojek, on its home turf. Gojek expanded across Southeast Asia earlier this year, including into Grab’s home Singapore, and also revealed its rebrand last week. Grab is the stronger of the two brands in all Southeast Asia markets with the exception of Indonesia. This new investment could change that.

SoftBank announced a US$1.46 billion investment in Grab earlier this year.

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