Friday, 17 August, 2018

Toyota investing $1 billion in Grab

Toyota embraces new businesses that threaten the industry's traditional business model Toyota embraces new businesses that threaten the industry's traditional business model
Ginger Lawrence | 13 June, 2018, 12:31

A logo of Toyota Motor Corp is seen at the company's showroom in Tokyo, Japan June 14, 2016. Grab said it plans to work with its new investor "to create a more efficient transport network that will ease traffic congestion in Southeast Asia's megacities" and help its drivers increase their income.

The two companies already had a relationship: Toyota's trading arm invested an undisclosed amount in Grab a year ago.

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.

Toyota is investing a further $US1 billion in ride-sharing giant Grab.

The investment by Toyota, which is the largest ever by an automotive manufacturer in the global ride-hailing sector, will allow Grab to expand its range of O2O services like GrabFood and GrabPay, according to a company statement.

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

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".

Toyota Motor Corp has agreed to invest USD1 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab as a lead investor in the company's ongoing financing round.

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The company's valuation had been $6 billion but, unsurprisingly since the Uber deal, it has jumped by a further $4 billion based on Toyota's investment. This strong partnership will enable us to become the one-stop mobility platform in Southeast Asia.

Toyota will also share technology with Grab, including software that predicts when cars need maintenance.

"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, said in the release.

Grab now claims over 100 million downloads of its app across eight countries in Asia, including Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and more.

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 global push.

Earlier this year, Uber exchanged its Southeast Asian operations for 27.5% of Singapore-headquartered grab, ending a battle between the two for regional dominance.

Grab's main rival is now Indonesia's Go-Jek which last month said it would invest $500 million to begin expanding overseas.