S. Korean fund invests in Singapore ride-hailing service Grab

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-08-02 14:59 Updated : 2018-08-02 14:59
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[Courtesy of Grab]

SEOUL -- A South Korean venture capital fund created by Mirae Asset and Naver will make a $150 million investment in Grab, a Singapore-based firm, which offers ride-hailing and logistics services through its app in Southeast Asia, one of the world's fastest-growing mobility service markets.

It was the first investment by the one trillion won ($893 million) start-up fund, which was created this year by Mirae Asset, a major financial and asset management group, and South Korea’s top internet portal Naver for investment in promising start-ups and technology-related firms in Southeast Asia, India and China.

Other investors in Grab included OppenheimerFunds, a global asset manager, as well as China's Ping An venture fund and Japan's Toyota.

Grab has rapidly expanded its business in Southeast Asia by attracting many investors. In January, Hyundai Motor made a strategic investment in Grab. Along with joint marketing, Hyundai and Grab agreed to cooperate in developing a new car-hailing platform using eco-friendly vehicles such as Ionic electric versions.

Mirae Asset Capital's Chung Ji-kwang said Thursday that the investment in Grab is part of efforts to invest in Southeast Asia's fast-growing ride sharing and O2O (online-to-offline) mobile platforms.

In April, Mirae Asset created a $266 million fund to invest in Didi Chuxing, a leading Chinese ride-sharing service provider controlled by SoftBank, a Tokyo-based multinational conglomerate holding company. Didi Chuxing was the first Chinese tech unicorn to be invested by Mirae Asset. A unicorn is a startup company valued at over $1.0 billion.