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

Irving Hamilton
June 13, 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.

The data could also help Toyota develop its own next-generation mobility services, including a self-driving electric vehicle aimed at companies for use in tasks such as ride hailing, package delivery and mobile shops.

To accelerate decision-making, one Toyota executive will be appointed to Grab's board of directors and a dedicated Toyota team member will be seconded to Grab to as an executive officer, with Toyota considering more personnel exchanges in the future.

The $1 billion investment is part of a broader fundraising round by Grab, which said it will use the money to further expand its food delivery service and mobile payment platform across the region.

Ma estimated that Grab will reach over US$1 billion in revenue this year, as its users exceed 100 million in the region.

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But Toyota had also, in 2016, put money in Grab rival Uber - whose South-east Asian operations were acquired by Grab in March - in a strategic investment.

When asked about other investors in this round, a Grab spokesman told The Business Times: "Toyota will be one of our lead investors for this round". Toyota has installed its data recorders in Grab-operated rental cars to collect driving data - a similar strategy it has employed with Japan Taxi, said Bloomberg.

The automaker on Wednesday said by deepening the partnership, it hoped to achieve connectivity for Grab's rental vehicle fleet across Southeast Asia and offer financing, insurance and maintenance services to drivers based on data collected on its platform. This strong partnership will enable us to become the one-stop mobility platform in Southeast Asia. "A future that will provide for safer and more affordable rides, more liveable cities, and millions of new micro businesses in the digital revolution", he said. "We will continue to work with global leaders like Toyota in bringing this vision to pass", said Anthony Tan, co-founder and CEO of Grab. Since then, Grab has boosted its grip on Southeast Asia by buying Uber's business in the region.

Toyota executive VP Shigeki Tomoyama, who is president of hte in-house Connected Company, said the collaboration will utilise Toyota's connected technologies.

How big is Grab today? It also has Southeast Asia's biggest land transportation fleet, delivering over six million rides per day.

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