Microsoft to invest in ride-hailing firm Grab

SINGAPORE: Microsoft Corp is investing in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab as part of a partnership that the two companies said will allow them to collaborate on technology projects, including big data and artificial intelligence.
The companies did not disclose the deal value.
Grab had earlier said it planned to raise roughly $3 billion by year-end, of which it has already raised $2 billion.
Last week, it was reported that existing backer SoftBank Group Corp was closing in on a deal to invest about $500 million in Grab as part of the funding round.
Sources said that Grab is likely to tap strategic and financial firms for the remainder of the funding.
Before Tuesday’s deal, it raised $2 billion in 2018, led by Toyota Motor Corp and financial firms, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital.
Singapore-headquartered Grab has taken its ride-hailing business to 235 cities in eight countries in Southeast Asia in the past six years.
It is looking to transform itself into a leading consumer technology group, offering services such as food and parcel deliveries, electronic money transfers, micro-loans and mobile payments, besides ride-hailing.
Grab will work with Microsoft to explore mobile facial recognition, image recognition and computer vision technologies to improve the pick-up experience, the companies said in a statement. — Reuters