Grab has reached an agreement in which the leading ride-hailing start-up will receive an investment of US$1 billion from Toyota Motor Corporation as lead investor in the company’s latest ongoing financing round. As part of the agreement, the two companies will strengthen and expand their focus on certain areas of collaboration, namely connected cars, and drive adoption of new mobility solutions across Southeast Asia.
Toyota’s investment into a ride-hailing firm is the largest ever by an automotive company, but certainly not the first. Previously, GM has put money into Lyft, and Toyota has also invested in Uber; as a matter of fact Toyota’s trading arm already injected some money into Grab last year.
Grab is now putting more focus on other aspects of the O2O (Online to Offline) business, specifically GrabFood and GrabPay. Considering that the company operates in 217 cities across eight Southeast Asian countries, the latest round of financing will provide the catalyst for this growth.
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 start-up to have achieved run rate revenues of over US$1 billion across an installed mobile base of over 100 million users.”
According to Grab, they give over 6 million rides a day.
As part of the agreement, Grab’s board of directors will be joined by one Toyota executive, on top of a dedicated Toyota team member to be seconded to Grab as an executive officer.