Taiwanese private equity firm invests $30 mil. in Grab ride-hailing service

25, Feb. 2020

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TAIPEI, NNA— Kymco Capital, an investment arm of major motorcycle maker Kanwan Yang Motor Co. group, has made a $30 million private equity investment in Grab Holdings Inc. to help the biggest ride-hailing service operator in Southeast Asia continue to grow and add electric scooters to its fleet, managing partner Gary Ting told a news conference Feb.18.

Of that venture capital, $24 million goes to the Series A funding for an e-scooter rental service called GrabWheels and the remainder toward Grab’s newest round of financing, along with investors include Toyota Motor Corp., Yamaha Motor Co. Group, online travel service firm Booking Holdings Inc. and Hyundai Motor Co. group, Taiwanese media Business next reports.

The first rental service target is the Indonesian market with 110 million scooters, out of the 250 million in the Southeast Asia area. That scope will expand to Singapore, Thailand and other countries in the region, according to the report.

Ting called Grab “a platform-firm with excessive potential”, as quoted from a conference released last week on YouTube. “We have positioned 2020 and 2021 as explosive years for electric vehicles,” he said.

The Singapore-based ride-hailing service operates in 339 cities in eight countries in Southeast Asia. The network covers about 2 million drivers.

As part of the investment, Taiwanese motorcycle builder Kwang Yang Motor Co. will offer Grab supplies, fleet management and charging stations to GrabWheels, the news report says.

Grab will be able to use the motorcycle company’s Ionex electric batteries that it launched in 2018, the report added.

“Building electric vehicle ecosystem infrastructure in Southeast Asia is the key part of Grab’s future vision of transport,” Chris Yeo, head of Grab’s venture investment arm, said at the press conference.

GrabWheels looks forward to co-designing products with Kwang Yang to help motorcycles handle Southeast Asia’s tropical weather and diversify Grab’s supply chain, the ride-sharing service’s CEO T J Tham told reporters at the news conference.