Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab Holdings Inc, which recently received investments from South Korean private equity firm STIC Investments Inc, has already built strong relationships with domestic conglomerates and financial investors.
STIC has recently invested $200 million (238 billion won) in Grab. The ride-hailing firm received 25 billion won from newly established PE firm KL Investment last year. The country’s internet giant Naver Corporation and Mirae Asset Daewoo Co Ltd also invested $150 million in the company through their joint fund.
KB Financial Group invested in Grab through its 220 billion-won Global Platform Fund managed by KB Investment last year.
South Korean conglomerates Hyundai Motor Group and SK Group are also shareholders of Grab. They appear to have invested in the company in a bid to enter the South Asian market.
Hyundai Motor Group invested $250 million in Grab to expand its business to overall mobility services in the South Asian market.
SK Holdings Co Ltd, a holding company of SK Group, bought a minority stake in Grab in 2018 and its affiliate SK Telecom Co Ltd established a joint venture with the ride-hailing firm the following year to work together on mapping and navigation services. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding with Grab in 2018.
Domestic strategic investors and financial investors are flocking to Grab, betting on the company’s scalability and potential for future growth. The mobility industry is considered the future growth engine. Among ride-hailing firms, Grab has experienced rapid growth in recent years. The company is currently valued at $14 billion.
Established in 2012, Grab provides services with the widest reach in Southeast Asia, operating in 336 cities across eight countries, including Singapore and the Philippines. It has recently expanded its business portfolio to include online payments and food delivery services. Investors in Grab are expecting its enormous customer base to lead to continuous expansion of the company’s ecosystem.
A growing number of Korean conglomerates and financial investors are betting on foreign mobility companies amid heightened uncertainties over the domestic ride-hailing service industry due to strict regulations. (Reporting by Hye-ran Kim)