Business

Japan's SoftBank invests $250m in GrabTaxi

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Image caption GrabTaxi operates in 17 cities across six countries in Southeast Asia including the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Tokyo-based mobile carrier giant Softbank Corp said it has invested $250m (£159.2m) in one of Southeast Asia's fastest growing taxi app services, GrabTaxi.

The move will make Softbank's internet and media arm the taxi app's largest investor.

GrabTaxi was founded in Malaysia but earlier this year moved its headquarters to Singapore.

It operates in 17 cities across six countries in Southeast Asia.

GrabTaxi said it had raised $340m over the last year, including its investment from Softbank.

The Tokyo firm's move will see two of its board members join GrabTaxi's board.

More than $10m of GrabTaxi's total investment so far came from Vertex Venture Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek, the Singapore government's investment arm.

The injection from Temasek led to GrabTaxi's relocation to Singapore.

The taxi app firm says it has more than 500,000 active users and has registered 2.5 million mobile app downloads to date.

GrabTaxi, together with its business called GrabCar, competes with taxi apps such as Uber and allows users to hail private cars as well as registered taxis.

GrabTaxi claims to have the largest network in Southeast Asia.

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