Toyota to invest US$1b in Grab's latest funding round

Southeast Asia’s Grab lands $1B from Toyota at a $10B valuation

Grab will be valued at just over $10 billion after Toyota's investment, said a person familiar with the matter. 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.

Toyota put money into Grab via its Next Technology Fund past year, but this time around the capital comes directly from the parent company. The US$1 billion sum is the largest-ever investment globally by an automaker in the ride-hailing sector.

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

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.

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).

This is Toyota's second investment in 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.

"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 O2O mobile services, such as GrabFood and GrabPay, in the region", said Ming Maa, president at Grab.

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In return for its capital, Toyota will also get a board seat and the opportunity to place an executive within Grab's team.

Toyota said it aimed to offer financing, insurance and maintenance services to drivers based on data collected through recorder devices already installed in some Grab vehicles. "We want to be the one-stop mobility platform for users".

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.

Grab said it logs six million rides a day via apps downloaded onto over 100 million mobile devices.

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.

Grab, which is headquartered in Singapore, is a leading player in the ride-share industry in Asia, and earlier this year agreed to acquire United States giant Uber's regional operations.

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