Grab emerges as largest VC recipient in the world for Q1 2018

SINGAPORE-based ride hailing giant Grab has emerged as the top recipient of venture capital (VC) investment in the world for Q1 2018 with US$2.5 billion raised in its series G funding.

This is according to KPMG's Venture Pulse report released on Wednesday.

Grab's fund injection also propelled Singapore to US$2.68 billion of VC investment across 23 deals in the first quarter of 2018, the highest amount raised by Singapore startups in one quarter since at least 2010, the earliest year of data in the report.

Chia Tek Yew, head of financial services advisory, KPMG Singapore, said: "It is testament to the maturing of Singapore's ecosystem that a business such as Grab could be built here to tackle the regional market."

On the whole, the ride-hailing industry has reached a feverish point for venture capitalists, especially in the South-east Asia region. The other massive funding completed in South-east Asia was Grab's competitor, Indonesia-based Go-Jek. The company raised US$1.5 billion for its own series E funding.

KPMG said in the report that this "reflects the heating up of competition in markets that have been somewhat overlooked to date".

Globally, VC investment rose from US$46 billion in the previous quarter to US$49.3 billion in Q1 2018, in part due to five over US$1 billion deals, which includes Grab and Go-Jek.