How much is Go Jek worth

Grab is faster than Uber

Four years after it was founded, Grab Taxi Holdings is proving to be a nimble and innovative company. You're competing with Uber, but you're ahead of the pack in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and even Burma.

According to reports, the Japanese IT investment and mobile network giant Softbank is leading a group of investors that is to give wings to the Singapore startup Grab Taxi with around $ 1.5 billion. The generous commitment of the company run by billionaire Masayoshi Son no longer surprises anyone in the city-state: Half a year ago, Softbank brought in $ 750 million in the driver service broker founded five years ago. Other investors include the investment companies Tiger Global Management and GGV Capital.

Focus on Asia

Grab is now considered an agile market leader in the emerging countries of Asia, which has overtaken Uber. The company is currently represented in forty cities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam and, according to its own information, employs 710,000 drivers. Business figures are not yet published.

The company is still little known outside of Asia. It's also relatively small compared to Uber: Grab is valued at $ 3 billion, a fraction of Uber's value, which has grown to nearly $ 70 billion. However, Grab is worth twice as much today as it was a year ago. The company's app has also been downloaded by an estimated 25 million smartphone users.

In Indonesia, a hotly contested market in the region with a population of 260 million, the company plans to invest $ 700 million over the next four years. A local startup company, Go-Jek, has already caused a sensation there: Go-Jek focuses on two-wheelers and has now become synonymous with driving services. According to Grab, however, sales in Indonesia in 2016 were six-fold compared to the previous year.

Because credit cards and bank accounts are still relatively uncommon in this huge country, Grab is working on alternative digital payment systems under the name Grab Pay. To this end, investments of up to $ 100 million are allegedly planned. Development centers have also recently been set up in Bangalore and Ho Chi Minh City - both of which are also multi-million dollar markets. In Singapore, where the headquarters are located, 800 new jobs are being created in the renowned business district.

First attempts in Burma

Grab is now part of the street scene in numerous Asian cities. The reason is simple: unlike Uber, Grab is not discreet, but in bright green. In Singapore, for example, Grab has entered into partnerships with four local taxi companies. The customer can choose whether he is traveling with a “Grab Taxi” with a taximeter or at a fixed price with a “Grab Car”. In one case Grab collects 10%, in the other 20% of the fare. The expansion drive of the company founded by the 35-year-old Malaysian Anthony Tan currently seems to know no bounds. It is no coincidence that the Harvard graduate took root in Singapore: Singapore - in contrast to Malaysia and Thailand - has shown itself to be open to driver service innovation. Last year, Grab carried out experiments with self-driving cars here.

A pilot test has been running in Burma for a few days. It is the youngest market in Southeast Asia and it has a few prerequisites for success: Public transport in Rangoon, the largest city in the country, is in a mess. Cars are still unaffordable for many there; the use of motorcycles is (still) prohibited. With transport services like Grab, the range of services can to a certain extent be expanded overnight.

Primarily a logistics company

As a pioneer and because of its global roots, Uber is naturally an important competitor. But at the moment it seems as if Grab is always acting a little faster and smarter in most of the countries in this region. In China, for example, Uber is grappling with the market-leading driver service provider, Didi Chuxing Technology. Grab has it easier: You cooperate with rivals from Uber, also because Didi was one of Grab's first investors.

In Indonesia, where Uber was temporarily banned and still struggles with bureaucratic obstacles, Grab has a free run. The company has recruited a former police general with good ties to the government into its management. The fact that Grab has built up a dense network of pick-up and drop-off points through countless «warung» (a kind of kiosks) in Indonesia shows how Grab ultimately positions itself: not as an actual taxi company, but as a logistics company that pays meticulous attention to local conditions.