Grab raises $300 million for FinTech arm’s ambitious expansion


Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab has raised over $300 million from investors headed by South Korea’s Hanwha Asset Management for its rapidly-expanding financial services business.

Grab said that this is the first outside financing for the fintech business, that has chalked out ambitious plans in motor insurance, financing, wealth management and payments.

Catch competes with the likes of Indonesia’s Gojek and many regional start-ups that are attracting millions of clients as they seem to disrupt established financial services firms in a region home to some 650 million individuals.

Grab’s early backers such as GGV Capital and Singapore venture capital firm K3 Ventures also participated in the fintech arm’s funding. New investors included fintech investment company Flourish Ventures, backed by EBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

“As more and more of our life, work and activites move online, tech platforms have played a big role in formalising the economy,” Tilman Ehrbeck, managing partner at Flourish told journalists at our partner news agency Reuters.

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“They have a real opportunity to bring financial services to the users who often are not reached by the traditional banking system, particularly true in Southeast Asia, which has a relatively higher mobile internet penetration,” he said.

Reuters reported in September, citing resources, that Grab has been negotiating with insurance companies including Prudential, AIA Group and others to raise $300 million to $500 million for the financial services unit.

In December, online platform firm Sea Ltd and Grab’s partnership with Singtel each won Singapore’s first digital full bank licences.

Backed by investors including Softbank Group, Grab is trying to evolve into a regular app offering an assortment of services.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Anshuman Daga. Editing by Shri Navaratnam, Jane Wardell and Michael Perry.

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