Singapore-based Grab announced in statement on Wednesday that Toyota will be a lead investor in the former’s ongoing financing round. The Japanese car maker is set to pump in $1 billion and the amount is the largest ever globally by an automotive manufacturer in the ride-hailing sector.
Two years ago, Toyota invested in Uber, which Grab has since been acquired its South-east Asian operations.
Grab is set to work with Toyota on how connected car services on the Toyota Mobility Service Platform (MSPF) – such as user-based insurance, financing program and predictive maintenance – could enrich the Grab experience for drivers on the Grab platform. Grab and Toyota will also roll-out connected car services, such as telematics-based insurance, which may reduce the cost of insurance premiums for safer Grab drivers.
The investment will also accelerate Grab’s next phase of growth to build Southeast Asia’s leading online-to-offline (O2O) platforms such as GrabFood and GrabPay. Operating in 217 cities across eight countries in the region, Grab offers users safe and affordable transport, food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services through its mobile app.
The strategic collaboration will also see one Toyota executive appointed to Grab’s board of directors and a dedicated Toyota team member being seconded to Grab as an executive officer.
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… 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.”
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 utilizes 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.”