Microsoft's battle with AWS clouds value of Grab's platform - Equity - Deals

Donna Miller
October 11, 2018

And Microsoft will invest an undisclosed sum in Grab.

Grab will work with Microsoft to explore mobile facial recognition, image recognition and computer vision technologies to improve the pick-up experience, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.

This new partnership with Microsoft will allow Grab to tap on the U.S. tech company's resources, such as using its cloud system, Azure.

Microsoft Corp will invest an unspecified amount in Grab as the ride-hailing giant adopts the USA company's Azure as its preferred platform for cloud services.

In a press release, the Redmond, Washington-based company announced a strategic partnership with Grab, a Singaporean provider of transport services, food delivery and payment solutions.

Grab president Ming Maa said: "As a global technology leader, Microsoft's investment into Grab highlights our position as the leading homegrown technology player in [Southeast Asia]".

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Singapore-headquartered Grab has taken its ride-hailing business to 235 cities in eight countries in Southeast Asia in the past six years.

The two companies have announced plans to explore "deep technology projects" that aim to "enhance and transform the Grab experience for Grab's users, driver-partners, merchants and agents". And the firm will integrate its services into Microsoft Outlook and pilot Microsoft's Kaizala, a mobile app and service for large group communications and work management, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its customer service teams. The company invested in Uber in 2015 and in 2017, it began working with India's Ola to build a connected-car platform and power in-car entertainment via it's Azure cloud-computing service.

Rewards integration. Microsoft will explore integrating Microsoft Rewards Gift Cards into the Grab Rewards loyalty program.

The investment is Microsoft's first in the Southeast Asia ride-hailing market.

Grab said on Tuesday that Microsoft would become one of its service providers across a suite of products and, in the same breath, noted that the U.S. tech giant will also invest an undisclosed sum in its platform. Its digital wallet, called GrabPay, is a top mobile wallet payment solution in the region. For more information, please visit www.grab.com.

Grab also plans to use Microsoft's technology to develop real-time translation services, more personalized offerings and improve the quality of its maps.

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