[THE INVESTOR] SK Group has acquired a stake in Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-sharing company, according to industry sources on April 5.
The Korean conglomerate participated in Grab’s recent US$2 billion funding round, along with the Singapore-based firm’s existing key shareholders including China’s Didi Chuxing and Japan’s SoftBank.
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Although the exact amount of the investment was not revealed, sources predict it could be less than 50 billion won (US$47 million).
Grab is one of the unicorn startups in Southeast Asia with a market value of a whopping US$6 billion. The firm recently decided to acquire Uber’s operations in the region after years of bitter rivalry.
The stake purchase comes after SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won and Grab CEO Anthony Tan discussed a possible partnership in several meetings recently.
SK, the nation’s third-largest conglomerate, has been investing heavily in the mobility business. In particular, it has been pinning high hopes on the Southeast Asian market with 620 million people.
SK’s holding unit SK Holdings acquired a 27 percent stake in SoCar, Korea’s No. 1 ride-sharing app, in 2016 for 58.8 billion won, while investing in Turo, the US peer-to-peer car-sharing service firm, along with Germany’s Daimler last year. In May last year, SoCar set up a joint venture in Malaysia.
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com)