Singapore-based Grab was launched in 2012 and currently operates in 65 cities across seven countries.

Grab taps ex-SoftBank exec Ming Maa as new president to expand further into SEA

GRAB, one of the most popular ride-hailing apps in Southeast Asia, officially announced today that former SoftBank deal-maker Ming Maa has been appointed as its new president, as the company looks towards spreading its operations in the region even further.

While he was in SoftBank, one of Japan’s biggest global telecoms and Internet company and a Grab investor, Ming held a key role overseeing the the tech giant’s investments in the e-commerce and ride-sharing fields. This year, SoftBank led Series D and Series F investment rounds into Grab.

Ming’s appointment marks a strategic push by Grab to capitalize on a “growth opportunity, said Grab in a statement, particularly involving middle class and mobile users in Indonesia. The ride-hailing company is also planning to invest more strategically into mobile payment schemes so that users have a more seamless transaction experience.

SEE ALSO: Now that Grab is the second most valuable SEA startup, what’s next for them?

Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Grab co-founder, said: “Ming is incredibly strategic, and his insights from over a decade of investing in the U.S. and Asia will be of tremendous value as we continue to extend Grab’s market leadership across Southeast Asia.

ming maa softbank grab

Ming Maa, Grab’s new president. Pic: Google Plus

“As the best-capitalized startup in the region, we remain focused on leading the way in creating the best possible experience for users… Ming’s appointment reflects our commitment to delivering continued rapid growth and innovation, and we are thrilled to welcome him to our team.”

Ming, who was also a vice president in the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs, will move from Tokyo to Singapore to work with Grab in guiding their fundraising and investment efforts.

He said: “I am delighted to join the highly-talented Grab team, and am excited to leverage my experience, in e-commerce and rideshare, to build on Grab’s success, as we create the next-generation mobile ecosystem in Southeast Asia.”

Grab is facing big competition Asia Pacific – rivals Uber and Didi joined operations in China to access more resources in the country, while Indonesia’s Go-Jek app has been expanding its services to include food delivery and more recently, medical supply delivery.