Southeast Asian company Hageling has made its most ambitious investment so far, having supported the India-based budget hotel network OYO with $ 100 million. The investment was part of a $ 1 billion Series Series E round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund, which closed in September.
The deal was first published in a regulatory filing in India, the Economic Times reported.
"We can confirm the investment in OYO," said a spokesperson for Grab at TechCrunch.
Grab has been involved in a handful of strategic businesses, including investments in HappyFresh's startup bike-sharing system but these were far smaller and local in Southeast Asia, with the largest acquisition to date for the Indonesian offline payment network Kudo some 1
The deal with OYO is not only much higher but also outside of its immediate domestic grassroots, spanning eight countries in Southeast Asia OYO's business is heavily focused on India and China, but the company also operates in Nepal, Malaysia and, most recently, the UK aimed at financing international growth and it looks as if Grab would work closely with the company to increase its presence in South stasien, a region with over 650 million consumers and a fast-growing digital economy.
A source with the knowledge of the discussions told TechCrunch that Grab was particularly motivated to work with OYO to increase the potential of the GrabPay service. The key idea is that GrabPay could become the preferred payment method for OYO in Southeast Asia, which Graves aims to dominate the region's mobile payment space.
OYO claims to have more than 10,000 hotels rented or rented by franchisees in its network, encompassing 350 cities in five countries, with the bulk concentrated on India and China. In the latter country, after launching in June 2018, OYO will indicate 87,000 rooms in 171 cities.
Southeast Asia, where OYO is already present in Malaysia, is an obvious next step, and Grave could also be helpful Increase your customers by integrating their service into the in-app platform. Months after a deal to acquire Uber's local company against a 27.5 percent stake, Grab introduced a "platform" to bundle services in the region to provide visibility to the viewers of over 110 million registered users to offer that they like. This, in turn, can help businesses unlock the grave userbase, though some users have complained that Grab's app is increasingly "crammed" with additional services and information beyond simple transportation.
Grab has already partnered with travel giant Booking, which recently invested $ 200 million in its business – to offer deals to its customers, and it's quite possible that this could do the same with OYO's efforts to assist the Indian company in Southeast Asia.
The $ 11 Billion Hail-Hunting Company It's not short of cash – having raised more than $ 3 billion this year – so it can afford to make occasional splashy investments. However, a reallocation of the budget may be required. This is because the continued expansion of Southeast Asian rival Go-Jek threatens another war. It will be interesting to see how the competition impacts Grave's efforts to move from Ride-Hailing to the "super app" space, covering payments, local services, and more.