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Uber rival Grab to nab $2.5 billion to fuel its expansion

One of its investors has already outmaneuvered Uber in China.

For when you need to grab a ride.

Mohd Fyrol/AFP/Getty Images

Watch out, Uber. Grab is gearing up to throttle your business in Southeast Asia, with help from your nemesis.

The Singapore-based ride-hailing service, in its latest funding round, will receive an investment of up to $2 billion from tech giant Softbank and from Chinese ride hailer Didi Chuxing, Grab said in a statement Monday. Didi became known as an Uber slayer after it bought out Uber's business in China last year.

With more than 600 million people, accounting for almost 10 percent of the world's population, Southeast Asia is becoming an important market for businesses. The region could be a key one for Uber, after its U-turn in China and its stall-outs in other parts of Asia, including bans in Taiwan (although it made a return in April) and Macau.

Grab is Uber's biggest rival in the region, where it says it has a market share of 71 percent in private vehicle hailing. The company boasts more than 1.1 million registered drivers who provide private car, motorcycle, taxi and carpooling services in seven countries across the region. It also incorporates GrabPay, a mobile payments service.

In this investment round, Grab expects to raise a total of $2.5 billion. The funds will be used to strengthen its market position as well as to boost GrabPay.

Grab did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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