Toyota Motor to invest USD1 billion in ride-hailing firm Grab

Southeast Asia’s Grab lands $1B from Toyota at a $10B valuation

Singapore’s Grab gets US$1 billion from Toyota as Southeast Asia battle heats up

The value of six-year-old Grab will be just over $10 billion after the investment, said a person familiar with the matter.

Grab operates across Asia and agreed to acquire Uber's Southeast Asian business earlier this year.

Toyota is investing as a lead investor in Grab's ongoing financing round, Grab said in a statement on Wednesday (June 13).

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore March 26, 2018.

The investment comes as carmakers continue to pour money into ride-hailing services around the world, to help facilitate market share expansion by selling cars to ride-hailing firms or cooperate on connected vehicle solutions as the future of mobility appears to shift away from private auto ownership. Toyota has also backed San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc. and made investments in Japan Taxi, an Uber rival run by the chairman of Tokyo's biggest taxi operator.

Toyota is placing a big bet on Southeast Asia's largest ride-hailing company.

Image Credit think4
Image Credit think4

Under the agreement with Toyota, one of the Japanese company's executives will join Grab's board of directors, and a Toyota employee will be seconded to the startup full-time as an executive officer.

Grab added that the investment will allow Grab to further expand its range of online-to-offline services, such as GrabFood and GrabPay, deeper into the region.

It counts Softbank and its Chinese equivalent, Didi Chuxing, among its largest backers.

Data collected from the recorders could also help Toyota in its own development of next-generation mobility services, including a self-driving electric vehicle it plans to develop for companies to use for tasks such as ride-hailing, package delivery and mobile shops. The Malaysian-born but now Singapore-based company has its namesake app in over 100 million mobile devices, giving passengers access to over 6.6 million drivers and agents. In addition, collaborations in driving-data-based automotive insurance, financial services for Grab drivers and maintenance services are also contemplated under the new partnership. This strong partnership will enable us to become the one-stop mobility platform in Southeast Asia.

"Going forward, together with Grab, we will develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in Southeast Asia", Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota executive vice-president, said in the release. In 2016, General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft, Volkswagen pumped $300 million into Gett, and Honda invested an undisclosed amount in Grab.

Earlier this year, Uber sold its regional operations to Grab for a 27.5 per cent stake in the Singapore-headquartered firm, ending a bruising battle between the two for regional dominance.

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