Alibaba is reportedly in talks to make a $3 billion investment in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab, potentially representing one of the e-commerce giant’s biggest investments in the region since its bet in Lazada in 2016.
The Chinese conglomerate will be the sole investor in the funding round and will use a part of the funds to buy some of the Grab stock held by Uber, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing sources close to the matter.
The potential deal could be instrumental to Lazada, the Singapore-based online retailer, in which Alibaba bought a controlling stake for about $1 billion in 2016, as one of the sources said that a specific plan under discussion is to integrate Grab’s delivery network into Lazada.
The news comes at a time when Grab is grappling with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, which the company’s CEO Anthony Tan previously regarded as “the single biggest crisis” to affect Grab.
It also comes as Grab has reportedly resumed talks with its regional archrival Gojek for a possible merger at the bidding of shareholders including SoftBank, which some analysts said could put the two companies on path to profitability.
In recent years, Grab, which operates in eight countries including Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, has also expanded into financial services, food delivery and mobile payments.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (email@example.com)