Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is in talks to invest $3 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
The Chinese e-commerce giant, a sole investor in the round, will spend a portion of the funds to acquire some of the Grab stock held by Uber Technologies Inc., one of the people said, asking not to be named as the discussions are private. The deal may represent one of Alibaba’s biggest bets on Southeast Asia since its first investment in Lazada in 2016.
China’s largest corporation previously had limited forays into ride-hailing, but a potential tie-up with Grab gives it access to data on millions of users in eight countries, a growing delivery fleet and a stake in digital wallet and financial services.
About GRAB: The company started as a CAB hailing business and quickly branched out into delivery services and financial services. Grab Financial Group works towards improving access to financial services across payments, rewards, lending and insurance to enrich the lives of 100 million across Southeast Asia. GrabPay is a seamless point-of-sale (POS) system for merchants and a trusted mobile wallet of choice in Southeast Asia for payments such as in-store purchases, Grab transactions and fund transfers. In July 2019 Grab announced a new investment from consumer credit company Experian as part of its ongoing Series H funding round, a week after a $300-million financing by US-based investment manager Invesco.