Soon enough it is expected that Microsoft will give details on how much it plans to invest in the Singapore based ride-hailing service and what are its plans to increase its operation base, all the while outlining the benefits that it will avail from this strategic partnership.
Grab's fundraising comes at a time when San Francisco-based Uber has been beset by complaints about its workplace culture, a federal inquiry into software to help drivers avoid police, and an intellectual property lawsuit by Waymo, the self-driving auto unit of parent Alphabet Inc.
The first step towards which is adopting Microsoft's Azure servers as cloud platform supporting Grab's ride-hailing as well as the digital wallet.
Grab will explore utilizing Microsoft Azure's data analytics and fraud detection services to better predict and prevent fraudulent transactions on Grab's platform. "It's been fantastic to watch what they have done with technology, in the way that they've applied it to solving problems for their customers".
The companies did not disclose the deal value. Investments from both the companies would help in increasing the amount for Grab to around $6.7 billion.
Under the terms of their agreement, Microsoft will invest an undisclosed sum in Grab, reportedly worth about $200 million, according to the Financial Times. He declined, however, to share figures on Microsoft's investment.
Grab has the backing of several big companies, including Toyota, SoftBank and fellow ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing.
Grab expects to raise an additional $500 million, bringing the total to $2.5 billion in this round, which it said would be the largest-ever single financing in Southeast Asia.
Microsoft will also work with Grab on software projects like facial recognition that help drivers and passengers recognise each other and real-time translation services. The two companies will explore a number of innovative deep tech projects to enhance and transform the Grab experience for users, driver-partners, merchants and agents.
Microsoft Outlook integration. Grab will provide on-demand transportation booking options to Outlook users so they can seamlessly book rides directly in the application and be alerted with calendar reminders.
"Where Microsoft fits into this is all of the AI/machine learning platforms that Microsoft has developed will allow us to build these services", Maa added. In May this year, it showed at its developers conference how a world filled with AI looks and feels like.
Microsoft sees AI as a top priority.
As of this writing, the company still needs engineers to work on AI chips for Azure.