Toyota Motor to invest USD1 billion in ride-hailing firm Grab
13 June, 2018, 18:38 | Author: Eric Barnett
This deal will apparently raise Grab's value from US$6 billion to US$10 billion, according to TechCrunch. Grab recently took over Uber's Southeast Asia operations after years of competition, and is now going head-to-head in Indonesia with rival Go-jek.
The world's most profitable vehicle manufacturer is investing $1 billion in Singapore's Grab Holdings Inc., valuing Southeast Asia's largest car-hailing service at just more than $10 billion, according to a person familiar with the transaction.
Since August 2017, Toyota and Grab have been developing connected services for the latter, utilising driving data collected by Toyota's TransLog data-transmission driving recorder.
Toyota will place one of its executives on Grab's board, and a second Toyota team member will serve as an executive officer at the company, which Toyota called the "partner of choice for ride-hailing in the region".
It is also the latest collaboration between a global vehicle maker and a technology firm as ride-hailing companies dominate the fast-growing field of mobility services, raising the risk of a future where auto ownership declines in favour of such services.
As part of this agreement, Toyota will invest US$1 billion (RM4 billion) in Grab.
"A board seat nearly guarantees that Grab will buy cars from Toyota", said Steve Man, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in Hong Kong. Toyota said the Singapore-based startup has big growth potential in a region that is home to around 600 million people.
From its beginnings as a taxi-booking app - its original name is GrabTaxi - the company is morphing into an online platform for connecting users and offline services, and is venturing into financial services and venture capital.
Toyota put money into Grab via its Next Technology Fund past year, but this time around the capital comes directly from the parent company.
Other Grab investors include Japan's Honda Motor Co Ltd, South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co and Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing. But Grab still faces fierce competition from Indonesian rival Go-Jek, which is expanding ride-hailing and other services in Southeast Asia.
Grab said it logs six million rides a day via apps downloaded onto over 100 million mobile devices. "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 and president of Toyota's in-house Connected Car Company, said.
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