China’s Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Group Corp. are leading a new round of funding in the Southeast Asian ride-sharing service Grab that could exceed $600 million, according to Bloomberg. Grab is also seeking to raise a separate $400 million in the following weeks.
The talks signal that the truce between Didi and Uber Technologies Inc. in China this week is far from a global accord. Didi bought out Uber’s operations in the country and became a shareholder in the US company but the Chinese firm’s investment in Grab shows it will continue to clash with Uber in Southeast Asia and perhaps other regions.
Now Didi will be able to put the reserves in new growth markets like Southeast Asia and back a player they believe has a strong chance.
Grab CEO Anthony Tan said he expected Uber to concentrate on the relatively untapped Southeast Asian market after agreeing to sell its China business. Grab currently operates in 30 cities across six countries, and was valued at $1.5 billion in 2014. It is not clear yet what the company’s current valuation will be.
The alliance that Didi forged last year with Grab also included India’s Ola and the US’s Lyft Inc. It’s unclear what impact the Didi-Uber deal will have on the other members of that tie-up.
It seems that Didi is making a very complex, interwoven play at the ride hailing app market, no official word has been announced from Didi, regarding the operations of both deals. Didi’s move in Southeast Asia is perhaps a counter move to fight against Uber, which is poised for a more aggressive strategy in Southeast Asia following the sale of its business in China.
A version of this appeared in Bloomberg on August 3. Read the full version here.