MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Grab's US$2.5b funding smashes Singapore venture capital record in Q1

It led the 23 deals in Singapore that raised US$2.68b.

Singapore smashed its venture capital (VC) record with 23 deals that raised US$2.68b in Q1, KPMG revealed in its Venture Pulse report. This is mainly due to Grab’s US$2.5b Series G round, which is the top global financing of the quarter. 

Grab's funding round was led by the VC arm of Japan's Softbank and China's Didi Chuxing, along with Toyota Motor Corporation. Not too long after the round, Grab was able to acquire the Southeast operations of its rival Uber.

Meanwhile, in Asia, 317 deals raised a total of US$14.6b. Beijing was the most prominent last quarter, but now the title of the largest financing round of the quarter in the region goes to Singapore’s Grab. It was followed by the US$1.5b investment to Indonesia-based Go Jek.

KPMG noted that Singapore led some of Asia's key metro areas in powering the region’s overall venture scene. “This is a sign of how, albeit slowly, the region is seeing domestic capital and entrepreneurial ecosystems mature and grow, supporting startups to the extent they are able to rake in such massive sums in order to corner regional markets in segments such as ride-sharing,” the report said.

Other notable financing stages in the global level include Lyft in San Francisco (US$1.7b), Faraday Future in Los Angeles (US$1.5b), and Uber (US$1.25m.), which all involve automotives and transportation services.

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