Tokyo: The Japanese carmaker is making a strategic investment in Grab, South-east Asia’s leading ride-hailing operator, and said it will work with the company to provide services in South-east Asia. Toyota also has a stake in Uber Technologies Inc., Grab’s main rival in the region.
Automobile manufacturers are working with and competing against technology companies to figure out how to make money from services to car drivers as automation, electrification and on-demand transportation threaten to reshape the current model of individual car ownership. Honda Motor Co. too has invested in Grab and is working with the company to expand motorcycle-hailing operations in South-east Asia.
Toyota will invest an undisclosed amount in Grab’s current fund raising round, which is aiming to fetch $2.5 billion, through a technology fund set up by unit Toyota Tsusho Corp., Singapore-based Grab said in a release on Wednesday. Toyota will also record and analyse driving patterns in 100 Grab cars and offer recommendations on what connected services it can provide Grab drivers, the two companies said in separate statements.
Toyota’s collaboration with Grab will also involve Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co., according to its statement. The investment by Toyota Tsusho is the first by its Next Technology Fund, which was set up in April with 6 billion yen ($55 million) to invest in innovative technologies, products and services.