Grab will receive up to JPY 80 billion (USD 726 million) as an investment from Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), as reported by Nikkei Asian Review on Wednesday. The newly formed partnership will facilitate growth in Southeast Asia, with the companies offering new services such as lending and insurance to consumers through apps.
Even though the two companies have not released any official statements regarding this investment, the deal will be completed by mid-year. MUFG will hold a stake of several percent in Grab. Furthermore, Grab will assist the bank to develop a super app that will give customers access to a variety of daily services. Utilizing Grab’s data on customer preferences, MUFG will be able to build loan packages tailored to customers.
This is MUFG’s latest investment in the Southeast Asia region. The Japanese bank has bought Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya Public Co., and made investments in various local banks in Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and other countries. MUFG considers the region as rich with untapped potential. A report produced by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company in 2019 found that 70% of the adult population was either underbanked or unbanked, and had limited access to financial services. By partnering with Grab, MUFG plans to extend its knowledge of digital services in the area, and uses it to attract new customers.
Other than MUFG, Grab has previously received investments from other Japanese companies, such as Softbank Group and Toyota. Worth an estimated USD 14 billion, the company is Southeast Asia’s first decacorn.