Toyota grabs ride hailer
Toyota is stumping up a huge $1bn for a stake in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab. The move marks the biggest hailing mobility play yet for a major auto manufacturer.
Toyota already backs Uber in the US, while General Motors has invested in fast-growing rival Lyft.
Grab reports some 6m rides a day and says its app has been downloaded onto more than 100m mobile devices. In addition to transportation services, the company also offers food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services in close to 220 cities in eight Southeast Asian markets. In March this year, it acquired Uber’s regional assets.
Grab and Toyota have been collaborating for a while, notably in the area of connected vehicles by providing driving-data-based insurance for Grab's rental fleet in Singapore through local insurance companies.
Earlier this month, Grab launched its Grab Ventures innovation arm to work with private sector firms and government agencies in Singapore and across the region to support growth-stage technology companies looking to solve transportation, logistics, food and payments challenges in Southeast Asia.