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Startups

Shinsegae VC firm invests in ride-sharing giant Grab

Feb 16, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)


South Korean retail giant Shinsegae Group's corporate venture capital (CVC) fund Signite Partners has invested in Grab Holdings Inc., a Southeast Asia-based ride-sharing startup, the VC firm said on Feb. 16.

"Millions of people use Grab daily and the Southeast Asian region is showing rapid growth in the mobile sector," the VC firm said, explaining its investment decision.

Grab is one of the largest startups in Southeast Asia, often dubbed the "Uber of Southeast Asia" for its popular ride-sharing service. In recent years the company has been diversifying its operations, including food delivery, healthcare, and in particular, focusing on payment solutions and financial services.

Grab offers services in eight regions, including Singapore. It boasts over 200 million downloads. The investment amount has not been disclosed.

Since its inception, Grab has raised funds from financial investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund and strategic investors, including Hyundai Motor Co.

Last September, Grab raised $200 million from STIC Investments. The company also received an undisclosed amount of investment from KB Financial Group’s venture capital – estimated to be in the tens of billions of won.

The ride-sharing startup has also collaborated with many Korean companies, such as Hyundai Motor, SK Group, Mirae Asset, Naver, Lotte Group, and Samsung Electronics in a range of business areas, including transportation, mobility solutions, and franchise services.

Meanwhile, Shinsegae Group established Signite Partners in July last year to identify startups with strong growth potential and to foster new growth drivers. Shinsegae International, Shinsegae Department Store, and Shinsegae Central City invested 10 billion won ($9 million), 6 billion won, and 4 billion won into the fund, respectively.

Moving forward, Signite Partners plans to shore up its global investments and create synergy between promising startups at home and abroad.

Signite Partners has invested in Ably Corporation, the operator of mobile shopping app Ably, and the US-based fashion firm Entireworld.

Write to Yoo-chung Roh at yjroh@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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