Southeast Asian car company Grab has raised $706 million and $150 million from Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Japanese IT services company TIS, respectively, seeking to make a big push into the financial services industry,media reported. “Mitsubishi UFG’s investment in Grab is a vote of confidence in our ‘Super APP’ strategy and building long-term sustainability business capabilities,” Grab President Ming Maa said in a statement Tuesday. “
Grab, backed by SoftBank Group, has been expanding into financial services, using its car, takeaway and e-wallet services to become a one-stop shop for on-demand services in Asia. The company said it would use the latest raised funds to provide loans, insurance and wealth management products and services to Southeast Asian consumers and small and medium-sized businesses.
Hironori Kamezawa, vice president and incoming chief executive of Mitsubishi UFG, said the bank would combine Grab’s advanced technology and data management expertise with its financial experience. “We believe this alliance will also give additional impetus to our ongoing digital transformation of Mitsubishi UFG,” he said. “
Grab also said TIS, a unit of TIS INTEC Group, would invest $150 million in the company.
Meanwhile, Grab’s Indonesian rival, Gojek, has denied rumours of a possible merger. The two companies’ management teams have held occasional discussions over the past few years on a merger deal, according to people familiar with the matter, and the two sides met earlier this month, with their biggest obstacle being disagreement over control of the combined entity.
However, any merger could face regulatory hurdles, as it is the two largest car companies in Southeast Asia, with Grab and Gojek valued at $14bn and $10bn respectively. A Grab spokesman declined to comment.