Economy

Toyota just sunk another $US1 billion into Asian ride-sharing giant Grab

Toyota just sunk another $US1 billion into Asian ride-sharing giant Grab”

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. Earlier this year, Hyundai also invested in Grab.

Wednesday's announcement deepens Toyota's partnership with Grab, following an earlier, undisclosed investment by the automaker's trading arm previous year.

Toyota already invested an undisclosed amount in Grab a year ago.

Toyota's trading arm has previously invested in Grab, which also counts Chinese peer Didi Chuxing and Japan's SoftBank Group Corp as investors.

The two companies will look for future collaborations aimed to achieve more-efficient ride-hailing businesses and for developing future mobility service solutions and MaaS vehicles.

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.

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

Grab says that this investment allows it to further expand its range of O2O services, such as GrabFood and GrabPay, deeper into the region.

Toyota has installed its driving recorder devices in some vehicles operated by Grab, using the collected data stored in its mobility services platform to analyse driving patterns and develop vehicle services.

Toyota will also share technology with Grab, including software that predicts when cars need maintenance. 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. "We want to be the one-stop mobility platform for users". "Going forward, together with Grab, we will develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in Southeast Asia", said Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota executive VP and president of Toyota's in-house Connected Company.

So big that on March 25 Uber gave up the chase and sold its Southeast Asia rideshare and food delivery businesses in return for a 27.5% stake in Grab, and a spot on its board for Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. In 2016, General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft, Volkswagen pumped $300 million into Gett, and Honda invested an undisclosed amount in Grab.

Founded in 2012 by Malaysian Harvard Business School graduates Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling, Grab now dominates the third-party and private auto hailing markets across Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.



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