Central Group, Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate, confirmed that it has made a US$200 million investment in a Thai subsidiary of ride-hailing company Grab.
This is the first time a partner has invested in Grab’s local business, said Grab executive Anthony Tan.
Central Group will utilise Grab’s logistics capabilities in Thailand to service its venues in Thailand, which include department stores, restaurants, and hotel chains. The two companies will also offer transportation services, as well as food and grocery delivery.
The partnership aims at connecting Central Group’s brick-and-mortar shops and restaurants with its online consumers. Grab would also be an alternative channel for Central Group’s e-commerce platform as its products will eventually be available on Grab’s app, said Grab’s country head Tarin Thaniyavarn to Reuters in an interview.
The Singapore-headquartered ride-hailing unicorn is currently raising its Series H funds, which stand at around US$3 billion. Central Group has joined Grab’s list of strategic backers, which includes Hyundai, Softbank, Microsoft, Uber, and Booking Holdings.
This alliance between Thailand’s largest conglomerate and Grab intensifies competition between ride-hailing companies in the country. In particular, Go-Jek is also offering rides and making deliveries in Thailand.
Go-Jek has just closed the first round of its Series F funding. The exact amount of funds raised has not been disclosed, but TechCrunch reports it to be around US$920 million. Go-Jek plans to spend the money on developing its business in Indonesia as well as to growing its presence in new markets, such as Thailand.
Editor: Brady Ng