Toyota To Acquire $1 Billion Stake in Ride-Hailing Service Grab

This is by far the largest deal a by a carmaker in a ride-hailing provider.

This move by Toyota definitely marks the transition of traditional carmakers from manufacturing to services.

The Japanese company just agreed to acquire a $1 Billion stake in Grab, Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing company. The announcement was made in a statement by Toyota earlier this week. The company did not disclose what percentage of Grab it will own.

According to a person familiar with the deal, the value of six-year-old Grab will be just over $10 billion after the investment.

“We will work with partners like Toyota to continue to transform transportation in Southeast Asia,” Grab said in an email to Reuters. “We want to be the one-stop mobility platform for users.”

“Going forward, together with Grab, we will develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in Southeast Asia,” Toyota executive Shigeki Tomoyama said in a statement.

This is not the first time that the Japan-based company has invested in Grab. Last year, it also pumped in an undisclosed amount to the latter. Toyota also invested in San Francisco-based Uber as well as in Japan Taxi Co. Ltd, an Uber rival.

The car industry is really racing with tech companies to gain a level footing on mobility services. With the rise of ride-hailing and vehicle sharing companies, there is a lesser need for car ownership. Honda and General Motors are the two other big names who have also invested in ride-hailing applications.

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Grab and Go: Grab Cars Are Now Convenience Stores Too

Grab wants to sell you snacks and beauty products while you take a ride.

Ride-hailing giant Grab has just partnered with US start-up Cargo to bring Grab&Go to Southeast Asia. The partnership allows Grab drivers sell a selection of items to passengers during their ride.

Grab announced the new service in a blog post and through emails to its subscribers.

“If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll be able to help yourself to product samples like snack bars and beauty products absolutely free. You can also enjoy the convenience of buying an on-the-go refreshment or snack while you ride.”

Currently, Grab&Go has partnered with brands such as Kellogg’s, Biore UV, Novu and Unilever’s Lux Luminique for the free samples. Passengers are allowed to take home up to four complimentary products.

This latest offering is definitely a win-win for all. Brands get a new way to reach their customers, customers get free stuff, and the drivers earn extra income.

For each paid sale, drivers earn a 20% commission fee. They also earn a S$1 check-out bonus for every order from their Grab&Go box. Cargo claims that drivers can earn an $75-$250 per month through this.

Currently, the service is only available in Singapore. However, Grab tells TechCrunch that it will expand across Southeast Asia if this service is well-received. Grab serves 8 other countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.


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Grab Launches Food Delivery Service In Southeast Asia

Food Delivery Service Launched By Grab In Southeast Asia

Grab has launched a food delivery service in Southeast Asia.  The food delivery service is known as GrabFood.  It is already available in beta in some countries, including Singapore.

Grab is planning to reach its core six markets in Southeast Asia is set for the coming months.  The company just completed its acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia business.

Grab’s Food Delivery Service

GrabFood is available as a standalone app in Singapore.  As part of Grab’s acquisition of Uber Southeast Asia, it took over UberEats in the region.  It moved its merchants and customer base to GrabFood before shuttering the Uber service.

Customers can pay in cash, through card or GrabPay for their orders. The customers are also entitled to GrabRewards.. This is the rewards and loyalty program of Grab.

It has two notable features.  It allows customers to order in advance and it has no minimum amount required for your orders.

Making Everyday Life Easier

Grab said in a statement that its going into the food delivery business is an important move to realize its plan.  This plan is to develop “an interconnected ecosystem of consumer services to make the everyday lives of people easier”.

Grab’s Acquisition Of Uber

The company has announced its deal to buy rival company Uber’s local business in March.  The itself did not seem to prosper smoothly, as expected.

Although Uber is out of the way, Grab will still be facing competition in Go-Jek, the market leader in Indonesia.  Its food delivery service will not only compete with Go-Jek’s FoodGo, but also with FoodPanda, and Deliveroo.

Grab is said to be raising $1 billion in fresh funds with a valuation of $10 million.  Which represents a significant increase on the $6 billion valuation that the company has commanded last July.

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Grab Unveils New Services

New Services For Grab Unveiled

Grab unveils three new services for users.  Two of these services are built on Uber’s previous offerings.  The new services were revealed by Grab on Monday.  This is its first update since it announced it would acquire Uber’s South-east Asian operations in March.

Two of these services are built on Uber’s previous offerings, including uberASSIST and Uber Car Seat.

Grab’s New Services

The unveiling of Grabs three new services provide its users with more options when they choose to use Grab.  These  services are: 1) GrabASSIST, 2) GrabCar Plus, and 3) Grab Family.

New Service Called GrabASSIST

GrabASSIST will roll out in beta on Monday.  This is a service for riders with mobility needs that is similar to uberASSIST.  Vehicles for GrabASSIST can accommodate foldable wheelchairs, walkers, and collapsible scooters.  GrabASSIST will be provided by about 1,000 drivers.

The GrabCar Plus

GrabCar Plus will be launched by the end of May.  This is a new “premium economy” service that features “newer and better” cars.  These cars are more spacious and generally are less that three years old.  This service will be priced between JustGrab and GrabCar Premium services, which is Grab’s luxury car service.

GrabFamily Service (1 to 3)

This service will roll out by end of June.  This will cater to families with toddlers aged one to three.  An IMMI Go car seat will be equipped in each vehicle.  The GrabFamily vehicles will be operated by a driver who is fully trained on proper installation and use of the car seat.

This  service will be priced similar to Uber Car Seat, and complements Grab’s exiitng service GrabFamily (4 to 7).  GrabFamily service will be another family-friendly option that offers a mifold child booster seat for children aged four to seven.

“The new services will make shared transport more accessible for different segments of community,” said Lim Kell Jay, head of Grab Singapore.


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