Toyota Plans Billion-Dollar Investment in Ride-Hailing Startup Grab

13 Juin, 2018, 12:32 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Toyota to invest billion in Grab

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

The deal comes as the auto industry faces a spike in the need for technological prowess with the advent of features such as autonomous driving, while app makers offer passengers the option to forgo vehicle purchases by connecting them with drivers. 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.

Japan's SoftBank Group Corp last month announced it would invest $2.25 billion in the Cruise autonomous vehicle unit of General Motors Co, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC have agreed to supply vehicles for Alphabet Inc's self-driving auto subsidiary Waymo.

As part of this agreement, Toyota will invest US$1 billion (RM4 billion) in Grab. Grab said it plans to work with its new investor "to create a more efficient transport network that will ease traffic congestion in Southeast Asia's megacities" and help its drivers increase their income.

The deal extends Toyota's cooperation with Grab, the largest ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia, the carmaker said in a statement Wednesday, without disclosing what percentage of Grab it will own.

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

The firm also offers online to offline services, such as food delivery and digital payments, which it aims to expand deeper into the region using funds from its latest financing round. "We want to be the one-stop mobility platform for users".

One Toyota executive will be appointed to Grab's board of directors and a dedicated Toyota team member will be seconded to Grab as an executive officer. In particular, that will involve close collaboration with the Toyota Mobility Service Platform (MSPF), which is working on areas such as user-based insurance, new types of financial packages and predictive vehicle maintenance. Grab has already forced Uber Technologies Inc.to retreat from Southeast Asia. In 2016, General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft, Volkswagen pumped $300 million into Gett, and Honda invested an undisclosed amount in Grab.

Grab, which is headquartered in Singapore, is a leading player in the ride-share industry in Asia, and earlier this year agreed to acquire United States giant Uber's regional operations. Go-jek is expected to expand its operations outside Indonesia this year in countries such as Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

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