Honda Invests In Southeast Asian Ride-Hailing Service Grab
By Carandbike Team
1 mins read
Published on December 12, 2016
- Grab is the biggest rival to ride-sharing service Uber in Southeast Asia
- The investment is part of a $750 million funding led by SoftBank
- The partnership will also include selling Honda bikes within the region
Japanese auto giant Honda Motor Co has now become one of the key investors in Southeast Asian ride-hailing service - Grab. The biggest rival to ride-sharing service Uber in Southeast Asia, Grab provides services such as taxi and motorbike-hailing, car-pooling, delivery and mobile payments in the region. The undisclosed sum of investment made by Honda is part of a $750 million funding led by SoftBank, which was announced previously, to collaborate on motorbike-hailing services.
Grab said that with the investment made by Honda, now the two companies would form a partnership to develop the ride-sharing technology and related driver education programs. Ming Maa, the president at Grab, who joined the company in October from Japan's SoftBank Group Corp - an investor in Grab, said, "We are in the planning stages on exactly what a full partnership will look like, and there are many different prongs of that. One prong would obviously include selling Honda motorbikes within the region. We would welcome expanding the partnership to four-wheeled vehicles."
This is the latest tie-up of its kind in the auto industry, where carmakers such as Volkswagen, Toyota Motor Corp and General Motors have also struck deals with ride-sharing firms to hedge against a shift in the vehicle market away from private ownership. In fact, many automakers in India have are started making strides in this direction by partnering with such app-based taxi services. BMW India recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ola becoming its 'Lux Category Partner,' whereas, Marui also teamed up with Old to give driver training to over 40,000 aspiring drivers. That said none of them have announced any investments like the one done by Honda in Southeast Asia.
The September funding round values Grab at more than $3 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter. While the deal with Honda is the first one it has signed with an automaker, Maa said Grab was also talking with other vehicle manufacturers for partnerships that will help reduce traffic and increase safety.
Monday's announcement comes just two weeks after Grab said Japanese financial services company Tokyo Century Corp had made a strategic investment in the firm for an undisclosed amount. Investors in Grab include China Investment Corp, Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Vertex Ventures, a part of Singapore state investor state investor Temasek Holdings.
When asked whether the Grab partnership could influence Honda's vehicle designs to adapt to ride-sharing, Maa said: "anything is possible".
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