Grab sets aside $2b for Indonesia investments, plans second HQ in Jakarta

A passenger sits next to Grab corner sign as he waits for a Grab bike at Sudirman train station in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Grab is setting aside $2 billion to roll out new services in healthcare, e-scooters and food delivery in Southeast Asia’s largest market, Indonesia.

Grab clarified that while the capital is sourced from SoftBank, its largest investor, it does not represent a fresh injection of funds into the company.

To date, SoftBank has invested about $3 billion in Grab, with about $1.46 million of its ongoing Series H round coming from the SoftBank Vision Fund.

A slew of announcements were made on Monday afternoon by Grab’s CEO, Anthony Tan, alongside SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo in a public display of approval towards Grab’s expanding presence in the market.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan said: “Indonesia has a good investment climate where we are working together to boost the ease of investment in Indonesia. This investment is evidence that Indonesia has been on the radar of investors, especially in the technology sector. We look forward to working with Grab, the fifth unicorn in Indonesia, and SoftBank to empower SMEs, accelerate tourism, and improving health services.”

SoftBank’s Son added that SoftBank is open to channeling more investments into Indonesia, which has the potential to be Southeast Asia’s largest digital economy within the next few years.

Some of Grab’s announcements include a second headquarters (HQ) in Indonesia, which will house an R&D centre in Jakarta that will function as a base for its GrabFood business. The new HQ will focus on developing solutions that empower micro-entrepreneurs such as Grab-Kudo agents.

Grab will also launch e-healthcare services in Indonesia over the next three months to increase access to doctors and medical services for Indonesians.

Grab and SoftBank will also invest to create a transportation network for an Indonesia-based electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem, and develop geo-mapping solutions to drive the development and adoption of future technology in the country.

Anthony Tan, CEO of Grab said: “With our presence in 224 cities, Indonesia is our largest market and we are committed to the long-term sustainable development of the country. We are delighted to facilitate this SoftBank investment, as we believe by investing in digitizing critical services and infrastructure, we hope to accelerate Indonesia’s ambition to become the largest digital economy in the region and improve the livelihoods of millions in the country.”

Grab last announced in 2017 that it was investing over $1 billion in Indonesia through its Grab 4 Indonesia 2020 masterplan. The company aims to double the number of Indonesian micro-entrepreneurs to 10 million with this latest round of investment.