(Reuters) — Southeast Asian ride-hailing service Seize expects to boost $2.5 billion in a file spherical of fundraising to cement its lead over Uber within the area and develop its funds platform.

Southeast Asia has turn into a key battleground for know-how startups vying for a market of over 600 million folks, with a burgeoning center class in addition to a youthful, internet-savvy demographic.

Seize’s Chinese language peer Didi Chuxing and Japan’s SoftBank Group, each of that are current traders, will contribute as much as $2 billion to steer the present financing spherical, it stated in its assertion on Monday.

The agency expects to boost a further $500 million, bringing the overall to $2.5 billion on this spherical, which it stated can be the largest-ever single financing in Southeast Asia.

Seize might be valued at greater than $6 billion on the shut of this spherical, based on a source near firm.

The Singapore-headquartered firm stated it has a Southeast Asia market share of 95 p.c in third-party taxi-hailing and 71 p.c in personal car hailing. It operates personal automobile, bike, taxi and carpooling providers throughout seven countries within the area, with 1.1 million drivers.

“With their (Didi and SoftBank’s) support, Grab will achieve an unassailable market lead in ridesharing, and build on this to make GrabPay the payment solution of choice for Southeast Asia,” Anthony Tan, group chief govt officer and co-founder of Seize, stated within the assertion.

Constructing on hovering user numbers of its Seize ride-hailing app and GrabPay operate, the five-year-old start-up goals to rework right into a shopper know-how agency that additionally gives loans, digital cash switch and money-market funds.

Seize purchased Indonesian fee service Kudo earlier this 12 months, and has stated it’s looking for extra acquisitions to assist fast development.

“The heterogeneity of the banking system, multiple competitors in each country, and multiple regulations to meet are barriers to success,” stated analyst Rushabh Doshi at researcher Canalys.

“However, given no single payment solution has been able to work across all S.E. Asian markets, Grab stands a good chance of building market share via its ride-sharing business model, and then extend the payments to other adjunct businesses,” he stated.

Seize competes with the likes of Uber, the world’s largest ride-hailing service, and Indonesia’s Go-Jek. Tencent invested round $100 million to $150 million in Go-Jek, sources informed Reuters earlier this month.

Seize’s fundraising comes at a time when San Francisco-based Uber has been beset by complaints about its office tradition, a federal inquiry into software to assist drivers keep away from police, and an mental property lawsuit by Waymo, the self-driving automobile unit of Google mum or dad Alphabet Inc.

Uber has been anticipated to extend its deal with India and Southeast Asia after retreating from China final 12 months.

Seize’s earlier traders embody sovereign wealth fund China Funding Corp, hedge fund Coatue Administration LLC, enterprise capital agency GGV Capital, and Vertex Ventures Holdings – a subsidiary of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings (Pte).

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Modifying by Christopher Cushing)

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