Alibaba could substantially increase its business interests in Southeast Asia with an investment in Uber rival Grab. Bloomberg reports that Alibaba President Jack Ma is considering joining an upcoming $1.4 billion funding round for Grab which will be led by SoftBank, a company with many links to Alibaba. Separately, TechCrunch has confirmed with a source that Alibaba has held meetings with Grab over a potential investment that could see Alipay, the mobile payment service run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, integrated into the Grab app.
Grab declined to comment. Alibaba did not respond to a request for comment.
Singapore-based Grab’s most recent funding was a $750 million Series F at a valuation of $3 billion in September 2016. The company, which just turned five, claims 45 million downloads, over 900,000 drivers and 2.5 million daily rides across seven countries.
It isn’t yet clear whether an investment would come from Alibaba or Ant Financial — both have busy brokering deals to get an early foothold in Southeast Asia’s growing internet space. Alibaba has majority ownership of Southeast Asia-based e-commerce firm Lazada , while Ant Financial has struck deals with finance-focused companies Ascend Money (Thailand) and Mynt (Philippines) in the region, and it set […]