Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab has obtained $700 million worth of debt facilities to expand its fleet of rental cars in the region.
Grab intends to use the funds from global and regional banks to offer more attractive rental terms and services for driver partners.
“This record-breaking debt financing round clearly demonstrates high confidence in our business model and market leadership from several of the world’s leading banks,” said Ming Maa, President of Grab.
Grab, which does business in 132 cities across seven countries, has more than 63 million app downloads and over 1.8 million drivers. According to TNS, a market research company, Grab is the market leader in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Southeast Asia’s top ride-hailing company claims that it has a current market share of 95 percent in third-party taxi-hailing and 72 percent in private vehicle hailing of the Southeast Asian market and aims to have the region’s largest car rental fleet by October 2018.
Grab is making moves to shore up the licensed taxi space, too, after it teamed up with public transportation firm SMRT, a public transport operator, whose services include trains and buses. It has a fleet of more than 3,300 taxis, and the partnership enables the company to work with SMRT’s licensed taxi and private car fleets while introducing hybrid and fully electric vehicles in the future.
While Grab was expected to raise $2.5 billion, led by Chinese peer Didi Chuxing and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota’s trading arm Toyota Tsusho had also announced to invest in the cab-hailing company.
In Southeast Asia, there is intense competition between Grab, Uber, and Go-Jek, where Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling-founded company has been making acquisitions and foraying into new services and using technology to address transportation and payments. The company also stepped up its expansion in August when it announced plans to invest $100 million in Myanmar over the next three years.