Uber rival Grab raises $750 million in record funding

The new round of funding is the largest till date for any regional consumer technology company.

Online transportation network and technology company GrabTaxi has raised US$750 million from investors.

The investment from the likes of Japan's SoftBank Group will fuel Grab's drive to secure the top position among South-east Asian ride-hailing companies.

According to Bloomberg, the new round of funding is the largest till date for any regional consumer technology company and takes Grab's valuation to more than $1 billion.

Though the company only names SoftBank, China's Didi Chuxing was also said to join the funding round. Grab, Uber's main ride-hailing rival in Southeast Asia, refused to disclose the amount or details on other investors.

In August 2015, Grab opened an engineering office in Seattle and also partnered with Didi, India's Ola and Lyft in the US to counter Uber's attempts to expand its business around the world. The companies let their customers book rides through each other's services.

On-demand car services have witnessed a significant boom as smartphone usage expanded all over the world. People now prefer the quick and simpler alternative to expensive taxis and public transport. However, big subsidies are required on rides as the process of signing up drivers and attracting customers is a cumbersome one.

Though Grab has not revealed the impact of the latest round of funding on its valuation, it has promised to invest in mobile payments and sustain its pace of Asian expansion.

Grab was established in 2012 by Hooi Ling Tan and Anthony Tan as MyTeksi, a mobile app for booking taxi rides in Malaysia. Since then, it has expanded its business and now it also offers rides in private cars, motorbikes, and carpooling services across 31 cities in six Southeast Asian countries.

Currently, Grab operates as many as 1.5 million daily bookings through its app across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.