GrabTaxi, an Uber-style e-taxi service operating in Southeast Asia, has raised a colossal $350 million round, taking its total funding speeding past the $700 million mark.
Launched in 2012, GrabTaxi is now available in 26 cities across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. It now counts 110,000 drivers across the Southeast Asia region.
Though GrabTaxi has primarily focused on taxis to date, it has expanded into other vehicle-types too, including motorbikes (“GrabBike”) and private cars (“GrabCar”) — which are more suitable in some markets, depending on income levels and the level of road congestion. And it’s these verticals that GrabTaxi says it’s hoping to grow even more with its latest funding in tow.
Among the participants in GrabTaxi’s latest round are U.S. investment firm Coatue, as well as a handful of big-name newcomers from China — China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation (CIC), and, perhaps more notably, Didi Kuaidi. “Didi” is an e-taxi company based in China, and one of Uber’s biggest rivals in the region.
“This investment is not only a statement on GrabTaxi’s dominance in the region, but also the growth potential of Southeast Asia on a global level,” explains Anthony Tan, CEO and cofounder of GrabTaxi. “GrabTaxi is at the forefront of the startup industry in Southeast Asia and it is a mantle we carry proudly.”
While GrabTaxi’s $700 million in funding may pale in comparison to Uber’s $7 billion or Didi’s $3.5 billion, this latest round makes the Singapore-headquartered company one of Southeast Asia’s best-funded startups. And if nothing else, it shows that the demand for “taxis in your pocket” shows no sign of easing.