GrabTaxi secures venture backing

GrabTaxi, an automated smart-phone taxi booking platform has secured backing from investors including Vertex Venture Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. A group of angel investors from Malaysia are also providing financial support for the start-up.

PRESS RELEASE

The future of taxi booking is now, as more markets embrace mobile taxi booking in Southeast Asia.

GrabTaxi (known as MyTeksi in Malaysia), an automated smart-phone taxi booking platform is poised to expand into new markets in the region.

GrabTaxi will be able to support an even larger number of taxi drivers and commuters, thanks to additional funding from investors including Vertex Venture Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings.

Vertex Venture is the lead investor in additional funding into GrabTaxi, while another group of angel investors from Malaysia are providing financial support to this young start-up. CIMB, a leading ASEAN universal bank, headquartered in Malaysia has been appointed the main financier by GrabTaxi.

The GrabTaxi concept was developed by two ex-Harvard Business School students back in 2011 to solve two main issues in the taxi industry – create safer and reliable rides for passengers and improve drivers’ livelihood.

GrabTaxi Founder and Group CEO Anthony Tan said, “From our humble beginnings, GrabTaxi has become the largest and most widely used taxi booking mobile app in the region. In fact, we have fifteen times more booking volume than our nearest competitors. Our own regional survey showed that we’re at the top of our consumer’s minds. More than 50 per cent of them aren’t aware of any other service available except for GrabTaxi.”

“The additional investment will allow us to tap into new markets and cement our leadership position as the best and biggest taxi booking mobile app in the region. Our teams are growing and passionate about providing the best service to taxi drivers and commuters. We continue to invest in the best local talent in each market because we want to build a world class team that responds to local demands.”

Around the region

GrabTaxi is the clear industry leader in the five countries that it currently operates in. More than 250,000 people in the region use GrabTaxi at least once a month with the app already being downloaded onto more than one million mobile devices to date. There is a taxi booking through GrabTaxi every two seconds across the region.

As a humble for-profit social start-up, GrabTaxi believes that business and social value can be achieved in parallel. They believe that being a double bottom line company, which focuses on social good as well as economic benefit and enriching the lives of our two key stake holders – taxi drivers and passengers – have enabled us to come this far.

GrabTaxi’s ‘Share your Ride’ function, which allows users to share their journey through social media or messaging apps with friends and family, has provided extra security for passengers that has never been available before. GrabTaxi also allows users to rate their drivers and view their information, giving users peace-of-mind when booking taxis. Drivers under the GrabTaxi network have experienced a 30% to 300% increase in revenue and our passengers feel safer with our service.

Tan was keen to point out that GrabTaxi takes all customer feedback seriously.

“It is our policy to suspend any drivers and passengers found guilty of wrongdoings upon thourough investigation. Our stakeholders are always pleasantly surprised when we call them to say that action has been taken,” said Tan.

The funding

This additional investment is a testament to the effectiveness of GrabTaxi and how it has made a significant impact in the markets that they have entered. Vertex Venture funding has provided the impetus to ensure GrabTaxi moves ahead at a strong pace in each market.

“GrabTaxi is a start-up that has shown tremendous potential and we’re confident that it will continue to dominate the taxi booking industry in the region. We invest in potential champions which have developed new technology platforms or business models that disrupt the incumbents and old inefficient ways of doing things. We clearly see GrabTaxi as one such champion in the making. We are very happy to be an investor in GrabTaxi and we will continue to provide strong support both financially and in strategic value-add to strengthen GrabTaxi leadership position in this region,” said Chua Kee Lock, Group President & CEO of Vertex Venture Holdings.

On being the proud financier of GrabTaxi, Dato’ Lee Kok Kwan, CEO, Corporate Banking, Treasury and Markets, CIMB Group said, “From a home-grown start-up, to becoming a dominant Southeast Asia powerhouse in the taxi booking industry today in just 2 short years, this is a clear testament of GrabTaxi’s foresight and resolute tenacity. Similar to how CIMB had grown to become the leading ASEAN bank from our humble beginnings as a small Malaysia investment bank, we are glad to be able to support start-ups like GrabTaxi in achieving their greater aspirations.”

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