Grab is upping its battle against Uber in Southeast Asia by announcing a flurry of new initiatives in Indonesia, the region’s largest economy and world’s fourth most populous country, which include setting aside $100 million to invest in startups.
Today the company, which is valued at $3 billion and claims 33 million downloads, announced what it is dubbing “Grab 4 Indonesia 2020.” It said the government-backed plan will put $700 million in investment to work in Indonesia, which is the largest of the six markets in serves in Southeast Asia, over the next four years via a range of activities. This push comes as Uber’s ramps up its focus on Southeast Asia (and India) now that it is disposing of its loss-making China business, which reportedly sucked up $1 billion per year.
The $100 million startup investment commitment, which Grab said is a minimum, is aimed at promising Indonesian companies and entrepreneurs that fit with Grab’s. It isn’t a formal corporate fund, and will be handled by Grab’s existing team in Indonesia alongside executives such as President Ming Maa, who joined from investor SoftBank last year and runs a range of operational areas for Grab.