Toy­ota trad­ing arm joins Grab’s $ 2.5b fund­ing round, un­veils tie- up

Global Times - - Biz Overview -

Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp’s trad­ing arm be­came the lat­est par­tic­i­pant in ride- hail­ing com­pany Grab’s cur­rent fi nanc­ing round that is ex­pected to raise $ 2.5 bil­lion, led by Chi­nese peer Didi Chux­ing and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.

Toy­ota Tsusho Corp, in which Toy­ota Mo­tor is the big­gest stake­holder, in­vested an undis­closed sum in Grab, the com­pa­nies said in sep­a­rate state­ments on Wed­nes­day.

The in­vest­ment is the lat­est in a South­east Asian start- up as ma­jor com­pa­nies seek growth in the re­gion.

Toy­ota Mo­tor said it would in­stall its driv­ing recorder de­vices in ve­hi­cles op­er­ated by Grab, as the au­tomaker ex­pands fur­ther into new driv­ing ser­vices.

Un­der a pilot pro­gram, Toy­ota Mo­tor will have its Tran­sLog de­vice in­stalled in 100 rental cars op­er­ated by Sin­ga­pore- based Grab, en­abling the com­pa­nies to an­a­lyze driv­ing pat­terns as well as off er im­proved ac­cess to con- nected car ser­vices.

Didi and SoftBank are al­ready in­vestors in Grab and other ride­hail­ing ser­vices glob­ally. In July, Grab said the pair would add $ 2 bil­lion and that $ 500 mil­lion would come from oth­ers, mak­ing the fundrais­ing South­east Asia’s big­gest- ever sin­gle round of fi - nanc­ing.

A per­son close to Grab has said the $ 2.5 bil­lion round would value the com­pany at $ 6 bil­lion.

Grab op­er­ates pri­vate car, mo­tor­cy­cle, taxi and car­pool­ing ser­vices across seven coun­tries and re­gions with 1.2 mil­lion driv­ers.

It said it has a mar­ket share of 95 per­cent in third- party tax­i­hail­ing and 72 per­cent in pri­vat­eve­hi­cle hail­ing in South­east Asia.

But its share could be un­der threat as San Fran­cisco- based Uber, the world’s largest ride­hail­ing ser­vice, is ex­pected to in­crease its fo­cus on the re­gion af­ter it folded its China busi­ness into Didi last year.

The ride- hail­ing sec­tor is dom­i­nated by tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, but au­tomak­ers such as Toy­ota, Volk­swa­gen, and Gen­eral Mo­tors have been in­vest­ing in tie- ups with these ser­vice providers to hedge against the shift in the ve­hi­cle mar­ket away from pri­vate own­er­ship.

This agree­ment also in­cludes an undis­closed in­vest­ment in Uber.

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