Grab, the Uber rival in Southeast Asia that operates across seven countries, is reportedly in talks to raise up to $2 billion from Japan-based SoftBank and China-based Didi Chuxing, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources. The funding would reportedly value Grab at more than $5 billion, which would make it the most valuable startup in Southeast Asia.
SoftBank is the telecom giant that has become known for investing in any ride-hailing company other than Uber. SoftBank first invested in Grab in 2014, with a $250 million investment. That investment came just a couple of months after SoftBank put $210 million into India’s Ola ride-hailing startup. SoftBank also invested in 99, Uber’s rival in Brazil.
The international ride-hailing market is heating up. Last year, Uber sold its China unit to Didi and earlier this week Uber said it would merge with Russia’s Yandex.Taxi.
As Uber continues to be caught up with its many scandals, lawsuits and executive departures in the U.S., perhaps companies in international markets see this as an opportunity to hit the gas.
A Grab spokesperson declined to comment on any “rumours or speculations.” I’ve reached out to Didi and SoftBank and will update this story if I hear back.