Grab poised to be regional ride-sharing giant


PETALING JAYA: Malaysian-grown Grab has agreed to take over Uber’s operations in South-East Asia, creating a regional ride-sharing giant that is expanding its business into online payment and the food delivery business.

Uber will take a 27.5% stake in the enlarged Grab as part of a deal that marks the US-based company’s exit from the market.

“We are humbled that a company born in South-East Asia has built one of the largest platforms that millions of consumers use daily and provides income opportunities to over five million people,” Grab group CEO Anthony Tan said in a statement yesterday.

Going places: Office workers walking past Grab and Uber offices during their lunch break in Singapore. Grab says Uber will take a 27.5 stake in it and a seat on its board as part of the deal. — AP

Going places: Office workers walking past Grab and Uber offices during their lunch break in Singapore. Grab says Uber will take a 27.5 stake in it and a seat on its board as part of the deal. — AP

“Together with Uber, we are now in an even better position to fulfil our promise to outserve our customers,” he said.

Under the deal, Grab will be taking over Uber’s operations and assets in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

In exchange, Uber will take a stake in Grab and its CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab’s board.

“Their trust in us as a transport brand allows us to look towards the next step as a company: improving people’s lives through food, payments and financial services,” Anthony said.

Grab was established in Kuala Lumpur in 2012, co-founded by Anthony, who is the grandson of the Tan Chong Motors founder, and his Harvard Business School classmate Tan Hooi Ling.

Grab was last valued last year at more than US$6bil.

Khosrowshahi said the deal was a testament to Uber’s exceptional growth across South-East Asia over the last five years, and would help Uber double down on its plans for growth as the company invests heavily in its products and technology to create the best customer experience.

Going forward, the combined business marks another era of growth, as Grab drives towards being the No.1 online-to-offline mobile platform in South-East Asia and a major player in food delivery.

Grab will rapidly grow the reach of its existing food delivery business, GrabFood, to Malaysia and Singapore, following the integration of the Uber Eats business.

GrabFood is present in Indonesia and Thailand, and will be available across all major South-East Asian countries in the first half of 2018.

Apart from that, Grab will continue to enhance and expand its suite of offerings under Grab Financial, including mobile payments, micro-financing, insurance and other financial services for millions of underserved and unbanked consumers, micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses in the region.

Meanwhile, GrabPay as a mobile wallet will be available across all major South-East Asian countries by the end of the year.

The Grab app has been downloaded on over 90 million mobile devices, giving passengers access to over five million drivers and agents, making it the region’s largest land transportation fleet and agent network.

Grab is available in 195 cities across eight South-East Asian countries, and offers the widest range of on-demand transport services including private cars, motorbikes, taxis, and carpooling services, in addition to food and package delivery services.

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