This time, the automaker is lead investor in a financing round launched after Grab acquired Uber's operations in Southeast Asia, a region of 640 million people. The carmaker first invested an undisclosed amount in Grab in August a year ago, after it invested in US-based Uber in 2016 in a partnership for a financing programme that allowed Uber drivers to lease vehicles from Toyota and drive for Uber to cover the payments.
Toyota is investing a further $US1 billion in ride-sharing giant Grab. Meanwhile Japan's SoftBank Group Corp - also an investor in Grab and Uber - last month said it would invest $2.25 billion in GM's autonomous vehicle unit Cruise.
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 US$1 billion sum is the largest-ever investment globally by an automaker in the ride-hailing sector. It raised $2.5 billion in its last round in July, resulting in a reported value of $6 billion.
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.
Image Credit think4
FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore March 26, 2018.
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 recorder, developed by Toyota for corporate fleets, has been installed in 100 Grab rental cars. In particular, that will involve close collaboration with the Toyota Mobility Service Platform (MSPF), which is working on areas such as user-based insurance, new types of financial packages and predictive vehicle maintenance.
Grab added that the investment will allow Grab to further expand its range of online-to-offline services, such as GrabFood and GrabPay, deeper into the region. This strong partnership will enable us to become the one-stop mobility platform in Southeast Asia.
Toyota said on Wednesday that it reached a deal with Grab Holdings to strengthen a partnership they already have in order to grow in mobility services in the region. 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. General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co. are among carmakers that have invested in ride-hailing applications.