Singaporean ride-hailing app Grab has raised $300 million for its fast-expanding financial services unit.
The funding round - the first extenal financing for Grab Financial Group - was led by Hanwha, South Korea’s leading asset management company. Other investors in the round include K3 Ventures, GGV Capital, Arbor Ventures, and Flourish Ventures.
With a focus on the region's vast underbanked population, Grab's dedicated fintech unit posted a 40% increase in revenues for 2020, launching its first wealth management product and quadrupling users of its insurance distribution package.
Adding to this momentum, the Grab-Singtel consortium was recently selected by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to set up a full digital bank, a strong validation of its ability to serve under-banked segments.
Reuben Lai, senior managing director, Grab Financial Group, comments: “We are at an inflection point in Southeast Asia, as the pandemic has accelerated the need for digital financial services that help us grow and protect our incomes.”
Grab faces stiff competition in the region from direct rival GoJek, and tech giant Sea - another recipient of a Singaporean digital banking licence - which has just struck a deal to acquire Indonesian bank BKE. The latter group raised $3 billion in a recent stock offering that it said would be used for business expansion, with financial services firmly in its sights.