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Alibaba Considering $3 Billion Investment in Southeast Asian Ride-Hailing Giant Grab

September 15, 2020 3:42 am

Beijing (PingWest)—Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is in talks to invest $3 billion into Grab, the Singapore-headquartered ride-hailing firm, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

According to the report, Alibaba will be the sole investor in the funding round and will spend a portion of the funds to acquire some of the Grab stock held by Uber.

The deal could be one of Alibaba's biggest bets in Southeast Asia since it first invested in Lazada in 2016. Besides, Alibaba intends to integrate Grab’s delivery network into Lazada, which has been losing ground against Tencent-backed Shopee. Trough the collaboration, the Southeast Asian e-commerce unit of Alibaba may tap the sizable ride-hailing and food-delivery user base of Grab, whose services typically have higher usage frequency than e-commerce.

Similar to Uber, COVID-19 also brought a blow to Grab and its major competitor, Indonesia-based Gojek. Although the two companies have launched on-demand delivery services, the sharp drop in travel demand has forced them to cut expenses.

In June, Grab, which was valued at $14 billion during its last private funding round, was reportedly laying off about 360 people, or around 5% of its employees, while Gojek laid off 430 employees, accounting for 9% of its workforce.