Grab welcomes additional funding boost from Tokyo Century, deepens ties

Barely two weeks into 2019, Grab’s Series H financing round exceeds its end-2018 US$3 billion target.

Tokyo Century, a Japanese financial services firm, is strengthening its ties with Southeast Asian mobile platform Grab with two additional investments. One was a strategic investment in Grab itself and another was a capital injection into Grab Rental, Grab’s Singapore car rental business. This brings Tokyo Century’s cumulative investment into Grab up to US$175 million to date.

Tokyo Century specializes in car leasing and other financing schemes across different verticals.

The firm plans to steadily expand its business collaborations with Grab, according to a press statement on Monday.

Tokyo Century’s strategic partnership with Grab began in December 2016. Through that deal, the Japanese firm has been providing financing services for vehicles in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia while Grab is able to support its drivers with new leasing and car rental services. A follow-on investment was announced in January 2018.

With this latest funding, Grab plans to add more features for its drivers as their needs evolve. By expanding Grab Rental’s product offerings such as flexible-term rentals and an upcoming electric vehicle fleet, the firm hopes to make it easier for drivers to work with Grab.

The investment puts Tokyo Century on the long list of investors who participated in Grab’s ongoing Series H financing round, which rose to beyond US$3 billion. Some other notable investors of the same round are Microsoft, Toyota, and Thailand’s Kasikornbank.

Massive fundraising is becoming a necessity with the escalating competition in the region. Grab’s archrival, Indonesia’s Go-Jek, started 2019 by expanding its Singapore services to the entire island after its recent beta-launch in the country. Singapore was Go-Jek’s third expansion plan after Vietnam and Thailand.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad