Japanese telecom and digital media giant SoftBank Corp is betting big on online cab booking business. After leading a $210 million funding round in India's Olacabs it has now invested $250 million in Singapore-based GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates the mobile-based cab-booking service GrabTaxi in Southeast Asia.
With this round, the total investment raised by GrabTaxi (also known as MyTeksi in some markets in the region) over the last 14 months has touched $340 million.
"We are excited to end a stellar year of growth with this record funding from the global powerhouse SoftBank. We will leverage SoftBank's expertise and group synergies across their mobile and internet platforms to further accelerate our growth," said Anthony Tan, MyTeksi Founder and Group CEO.
"This new round of funding will help drive our mission of revolutionising and improving the way Southeast Asians commute more aggressively than ever before," he added.
Launched in 2012, GrabTaxi currently serves 17 cities across six countries in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. The company claims to have over 500,000 active users and 2.5 million mobile app downloads to date.
"Growth remains a key focus for MyTeksi and we now have a considerable war chest to accelerate our rapid expansion in Southeast Asia. Our strong focus in this region also means that each of six MyTeksi markets stands to receive a significant portion of funding compared to larger players that have to stretch their funding much further," said Cheryl Goh, VP (marketing) at MyTeksi Group.
"In two years, MyTeksi has become the dominant player in Southeast Asia's taxi booking mobile app industry, which is a testament to Anthony's outstanding leadership. We look forward to working with his talented team and supporting MyTeksi's further expansion in the region," said Nikesh Arora, vice chairman of SoftBank and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media Inc or SIMI).
Arora, a former top honcho at Google, was roped in by SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son a few months ago, especially to lead investments in the internet domain. He had been instrumental in striking two large parallel deals in India. Besides Olacabs, SoftBank also invested $627 million in Snapdeal. Earlier, it had infused $200 million into InMobi in 2011.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)