Toyota agrees to invest $1bn in ride-hailing app Grab

Ben Heathcote

In App Deals

June 13, 2018

Car manufacturer Toyota has struck a deal to invest $1 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing app Grab, as the lead investor in company’s ongoing financing round. The investment, which remains subject to certain closing conditions, will be the largest-ever by an automotive manufacturer in the global ride-hailing sector.

Grab currently operates in over 200 cities across eight countries, and offers services including transport, food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services.

The company, which is also backed by Uber, Didi and SoftBank, says the funding brings it closer to achieving its vision of “becoming a one-stop mobility platform” in the region.

Ming Maa, president of Grab, said:

“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.”

“Grab is the first Southeast Asian technology startup to have achieved run rate revenues of over US$1 billion across an installed mobile base of over 100 million users. Our rapid user and revenue growth is a testament to our ability to hyper-localise, efficiently execute and provide the highest efficiency platform in a region as diverse as Southeast Asia.”

As part of the agreement, Grab and Toyota will strengthen and expand their existing collaboration in the area of connected cars, to drive the adoption of new mobility solutions across Southeast Asia.

The two companies will work on how connected car services – such as user-based insurance, financing programme and predictive maintenance – could enrich the experience for drivers on the Grab platform. They also plan to roll out services including telematics-based insurance, which may reduce the cost of premiums for drivers.

Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota executive vice president and president of Toyota’s in-house Connected Car Company, added:

“I am delighted that we are strengthening our collaboration, which utilises Toyota’s connected technologies, with Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing company. Going forward, together with Grab, we will develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in Southeast Asia.”