Grab Raises a Cool USD$700m; India’s Largest Food Delivery Startup Raises


DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Grab raises a cool USD$700m; India’s largest food delivery startup raises; and New challenger bank Level enters the space. 

Grab raises a cool USD$700m

Singapore-based ride-hailing startup Grab has raised more than USD$700m from Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. 

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group wants to plug the institution’s financial services to Grab’s users, Bloomberg reported. Although Grab started off as a ride-hailing app, its services now go far beyond that. The company wants to be an “everyday everything” app–it currently lets users book rides, meals and hotels, and offers payment services, among other things.

The company operates throughout southeast Asia, including in Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The new investment makes Grab extremely well-capitalised. It last raised an extensive Series H round in 2018 and 2019. In 2019, it received a USD$1.5bn investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund, followed by a USD$300m infusion with Invesco as the lead investor as part of the Series H round. With the new funding from Mitsubishi UFJ, Grab’s total funding comes to about USD$9.8bn, according to Crunchbase.

India’s largest food delivery startup raises

Weeks after Zomato acquired Uber’s food delivery business in India, its chief local rival is bulking up some ammunition of its own.

Swiggy, India’s largest food delivery startup, announced on Wednesday it has raised $113 million as part of its Series I financing round. Prosus Ventures, the biggest venture capital for food delivery startups, led the round.

Meituan Dianping and Wellington Management Company also participated. The new round values Swiggy at about USD$3.6bn, only slightly above its USD$3.3bn valuation from the previous round. The startup has raised about USD$1.57bn to date.

Sriharsha Majety, co-founder and chief executive of Swiggy, said the startup will use the fresh capital to invest in “new lines of business” such as cloud kitchens and delivery beyond food items, and get on a “sustainable path to profitability.”

New challenger bank Level enters the space

New challenger bank Level has officially launched, aiming to differentiate by offering 1% cash back on debit card purchases. 

The banking service is the latest from the same team behind the “debit-style” credit card called Zero, aimed at millennials who want the benefits of credit without the potential for overspending. 

Similar to Zero, Level also targets a younger demographic — in this case, those who no longer see the need for physical banks, when a bank account, useful app and debit card is all they need. The number of businesses in this space is growing all the time, making it increasingly competitive. 

Level is entering a market that, a few years ago, would have been a much more level playing field. Now, however, with established challenger banks such as N26, Chime, Monzo and Revolut already acquiring financially-savvy millennials, it will be interesting to see if Level can build its own customer base, or else persuade competitor customers to jump ship.

Want this in your Inbox? Sign up to our newsletter here!