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Asia’s Some Most Powerful Companies may be Teaming Up Against Uber

The rivals of the Uber in the Southeast Asia could be getting a huge inflow of money from some powerful investors. Soft Bank is making an allowance for financing in Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab, according to outlets like The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Various reports have estimated the worth which will be raised by the Grab and they say it could be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.

Some of the reporters said that the Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing may also be involved in this new deal. Alibaba has also been floated as a prospective backer in the past, although the Chinese e-commerce company deteriorated to comment, citing policy against discussing specific investments. The other companies did not instantly answer to the request to confirm their involvement in this deal.

The new deal could create a more powerful competitor to Uber in Asia, where the company has already struggled to build a base. Uber sold its Chinese operations to Didi Chuxing last year in an altercation for a stake in the combined company.

Grab works in the 55 cities across seven countries. The firm raised $750 million in a funding round in September, valuing it at more than $3 billion, according to Reuters.

Eric Alexander the Uber’s president of business in the Asia-Pacific region was terminated earlier this year because of the scandal that he suspected mishandling of a rape investigation. Uber has also been busy brokering the merger of its Russian business with a local company.

The Soft Bank is not a small rival. CEO Masayoshi Son has a lavish vision for investing in technology across the world and has bonded to Apple.

Grab’s development would enhance another problem in the otherwise challenging market of Southeast Asia. Alan Jiang, who once managed Uber’s Southeast Asia operations, wrote last month that the business environment in the region is “extremely fragmented.”

Alan Jiang wrote in a Tech in Asia blog post: “If you want to go big, you need to go international quickly. This means understanding multiple culture and languages, localizing the product, navigating unique political environments, connecting with local business contacts, recruiting for a local team, etc.”


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