Japan's automotive giant Toyota is going to invest $1 billion in the Southeast Asian ride-sharing app, the Singapore-based Grab. With Toyota's investment, the total valuation of Grab becomes over $10 billion. Post the deal, one of the Toyota executives will join Grab's board members group.
Notably, Grab had raised money recently from Japan-based Softbank. Earlier in the year, Grab had acquired Uber’s business in the region. This marks the biggest investment by an automotive manufacturer in the ride-hailing industry. With the funding, Grab gets an opportunity to expand their range of online-to-offline services which includes food delivery and e-payment in the region.
Grab president Ming Maa in a statement said that "As a global leader in the automotive industry, Toyota's investment in Grab is based on their conviction in our leadership in driving the adoption of new mobility solutions and expanding [online-to-offline] mobile services, such as GrabFood and GrabPay, in the region."
With the investment, Toyota can further integrate a number of its services like user-based insurance and predictive maintenance which will eventually motivate the drivers to drive more safely to enjoy lower insurance premiums.
Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota executive vice president released a statement where he said, "Going forward, together with Grab, we will develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in Southeast Asia."
Toyota is world's most valuable firm which has a market capitalization of about $221 billion, about $54 billion of them in cash. With more investment, it will be interesting to see how the battle between the ride-hailing companies transpires in the Southeast region.
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