With eight investment rounds under its belt, Grab has branched out into services for private cars, motorcycle taxis, carpooling and goods delivery while making an ever increasing investment in mobile-software research and development. It offers transportation services in 168 cities in eight Southeast Asian countries, having added Cambodia and Myanmar in 2017.
When Grab closed a $2.5 billion fundraising round in January, it not only valued the ride-hailing company at north of $6 billion, according to Pitchbook, but it also put cofounder Anthony Tan on the list of Malaysia’s 50 richest. He debuts with an estimated net worth of $300 million. Led by SoftBank and Didi Chuxing, the investment was Southeast Asia’s biggest single venture-capital fundraising round ever. Other investors include Hyundai Motor and Toyota Tsusho.
Tan, 36, the startup’s chief executive, could have enjoyed a cushy ride with his family’s auto-sales business, run by his father, Tan Heng Chew, and two uncles. (Heng Chew and his brothers made the list the last five years before falling off this year.) But six years ago he teamed up with a Harvard Business School classmate, Tan Hooi Ling (no relation), to launch a taxi-hailing application in their home city of Kuala Lumpur that they first called MyTeksi. Today she’s Grab’s chief operating officer but believed to hold a smaller stake than Tan’s. His mother, Khor Swee Wah, was an early investor and serves as a company officer.