Toyota Motor to invest US$1 billion in ride-hailing firm Grab

Toyota Motor to invest US$1 billion in ride-hailing firm Grab

Toyota Motor to invest US$1 billion in ride-hailing firm Grab

Toyota is the lead investor in Grab's ongoing financing round, launched following Grab's takeover of Uber's Southeast Asian assets.

Data collected from the recorders could also help Toyota in its own development of next-generation mobility services, including a self-driving electric vehicle it plans to develop for companies to use for tasks such as ride-hailing, package delivery and mobile shops.

Toyota announced today that it has concluded an agreement with ride-sharing app company Grab to strengthen their existing partnership and expand collaboration in Southeast Asia to drive further advances in Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

There has been speculation for several years about a potential IPO for Grab, but in April, CEO Anthony Tan told CNBC it was just one of "many options" for the company.

This represents the largest ever investment by a vehicle manufacturer in the ride-hailing scene.

The Singapore-headquartered firm did not disclose how much fresh capital it aims to raise.

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

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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.

Updates with Toyota's earlier Grab stake in fifth paragraph. This strong partnership will enable us to become the one-stop mobility platform in Southeast Asia.

In a statement, Toyota said the deal "is aimed at achieving connectivity for Grab's rental auto fleet across Southeast Asia, and at rolling out various connected services throughout the region that utilize vehicle data" stored by Toyota. "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 Vice President and President of Toyota's in-house Connected Car Company.

It also said Toyota will appoint an executive to Grab's board of directors while a dedicated Toyota team member will be seconded to Grab as an executive officer.

From there, the investments grew - another $US350 million from Didi and China Investment Corporation in 2015; $US750 million from Softbank, Didi and Honda in 2016, then $US2.5 billion from Softbank, Didi and Toyota in 2017.

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

Last month, Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment firm Go-Jek said it would enter Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines in the next few months, investing $500 million in its worldwide push.

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