Grab to invest US$2 billion in Indonesia through SoftBank capital over next five years

GRAB has committed to investing US$2 billion into Indonesia over five years, with capital invested by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank to speed up the country’s development of digital infrastructure. 

The initiative was announced following a meeting in Jakarta on Monday between Indonesian President Joko Widodo; Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group; Anthony Tan, chief executive of Grab; and Ridzki Kramadibrata, president of Grab Indonesia.

The investment looks to create a next-generation transportation network for cities. It will also fund the transformation of how critical services, such as health care, are delivered in Indonesia. 

SoftBank, which invested US$1.46 billion in Grab earlier this year, seeks to expand its presence in Indonesia through this latest investment. 

Mr Son said: “Indonesia’s technology sector has huge potential. I’m very happy to be investing US$2 billion into the future of Indonesia through Grab.” 

Grab and SoftBank are set to work on a transport network founded on an electronic vehicle (EV) ecosystem to push cities towards a more clean transportation grid. This is in line with Indonesia’s aim to achieve the digitisation of services and infrastructure, which this investment and collaboration helps in attaining. 

Both companies will also develop geo-mapping solutions for Indonesia, to drive the country’s development and adoption of future technologies. 

Mr Tan said: “We are delighted to facilitate this SoftBank investment, as we believe by investing in digitising critical services and infrastructure, we hope to accelerate Indonesia’s ambition to become the largest digital economy in the region and improve the livelihoods of millions in the country.” 

Grab will launch affordable e-healthcare services in Indonesia within the next three months, with the aim of increasing accessibility to doctors and medical services for all Indonesians, it said in a press statement. 

Indicative of Grab’s long-term commitment to Indonesia, the unicorn also announced the opening of a second headquarters in the nation. The facility will house Grab’s research and development centre and act as a dual headquarters for GrabFood, the food delivery business of the company.   

The second headquarters will serve the unique needs of Indonesian customers and focus on developing solutions that empower micro-entrepreneurs.  Relevant solutions will be introduced to other South-east Asian emerging economies. 

Grab’s second headquarters is said to provide employment to a larger number of Indonesians. Upcoming partnerships with Indonesian universities were revealed as well, as part efforts to upskill tech talent in Indonesia. 

Mr Kramadibrata said: “Grab is an Indonesia-focused company. Having our second headquarters in Jakarta will allow us to better serve the needs of all Indonesians and those from emerging economies in the region.” 

“As a technology decacorn, Grab very well understands the needs and challenges we have here. We are also well positioned to support more high tech industries and infrastructure companies originating from Indonesia,” he added.