[THE INVESTOR] Seoul-based Mirae Financial Group and Naver have invested US$150 million in Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant Grab, according to the firms on August 2.
In its first investment through their 50:50 joint venture Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, the firms have joined the US$2 billion investment round led by Toyota -- which committed US$1 billion in June. Other investors include OppenheimerFunds, Ping An Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Macquarie Capital, among others.
“Grab is today the industry-changing online-to-offline platform that enables millions of consumers and entrepreneurs to come online and drive the digital economy in Southeast Asia,” Grab President Ming Maa said in a statement. “We have seen overwhelming interest from global strategic investors and partners who are keen to partner with us to capitalize on the region’s booming growth.”
Grab will use the funds to “expand the range of O2O services it provides in Southeast Asia,” it said. It will also use a “significant portion” of proceeds from the current fundraising to continue investing in Indonesia, in a bid to compete against Jakarta-based rival Go-Jek.
“As the leader in Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing space, Grab’s growth in payments, financial services, food and logistics has been exponential,” Mirae Asset Capital said in a statement. “We are confident that it will continue to play a key role Southeast Asians’ everyday lives and emerge as a cornerstone company in this fast-growing digital economy.”
Earlier in March, Mirae Asset and Naver created a 200 billion won (US$178.60 million) joint fund to invest in promising Asian startups focusing on e-commerce, internet platforms, health care, consumer and logistics. In July, it raised the total assets under management to 1 trillion won.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)