SINGAPORE: Ride-hailing operator Grab said on Friday (Oct 20) that it has secured debt facilities of US$700 million (S$952 million) and signed a new and exclusive partnership with SMRT that will help it build the "largest and most advanced" taxi and private-hire car fleet in Singapore.
These moves will also help it achieve the largest car rental fleet in Southeast Asia by the fourth quarter of next year, Grab touted.
The US$700 million debt facilities, secured from leading global and regional banks, is the largest debt financing raised by a Southeast Asian start-up, the company said in a press statement.
With these debt facilities, Grab will make more cars available for rental, provide more favourable rental terms and services for driver partners and increase the supply of vehicles on the road, it said.
Grab president Ming Maa said: “This record-breaking debt financing round clearly demonstrates high confidence in our business model and market leadership from several of the world’s leading banks.”
Grab’s current market share is 95 per cent in third-party taxi-hailing and 72 per cent in private vehicle hailing, it said. Its pool of drivers in the region has tripled in size since January this year to hit more than 1.8 million, the largest land transportation fleet in Southeast Asia, it claimed.
SMRT PARTNERSHIP STRENGTHENED
To further grow its fleet, Grab has signed a deal with SMRT that will give it exclusive access to the latter's current and future taxi and private car fleet management capabilities, as well as its entire network of taxis and Strides private-hire cars.
The fleet will include eco-friendly hybrid and fully electric vehicles, which will drastically reduce drivers’ operating costs and translate into higher driver earnings and more affordable rides for passengers, Grab said.
This comes after Grab brought taxis, including SMRT's, onboard its GrabShare platform in May this year.
Additionally, Grab’s driver partners who rent vehicles through Grab’s car rental business, GrabRentals, will enjoy competitive vehicle rental and maintenance rates, have access to the most advanced commercial vehicles, and benefit from SMRT’s fleet management capabilities, it added.
Mr Lim Kell Jay, head of Grab Singapore, said: “We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with SMRT, given their strong fleet management capabilities for hybrid vehicles. We continue to collaborate to complement and strengthen each other’s transportation network. Ultimately, we want to provide affordable services for driver-partners and passengers, and serve all segments of society including public transport users.”