Hyundai, along with a handful of key investors, is pumping more money into Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing service in an effort to bring its mobility services to the region.
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The South Korean car maker is already dabbling in car-sharing on its own in the US, Netherlands and Austria, where its Ioniq electric vehicles are available for rent in major cities such as Amsterdam and Vienna.
Hyundai did not reveal how much it is investing in Grab, which it will be working with to develop a new mobility service that will make use of its Ioniq vehicles. Other investors in this Series G funding round – Grab’s largest so far – include China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, SoftBank and Toyota Tsusho.
Grab operates the largest ride-hailing network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with over 3.5 million daily rides. The Grab app has been downloaded onto over 77 million mobile devices, giving passengers access to the region’s largest land transportation fleet comprising over 2.3 million drivers.
This latest round of investment by industry bigwigs should bolster Grab’s position in Southeast Asia where it competes with key rivals such as the embattled Uber in markets like Singapore and Malaysia, as well as Go-Jek in Indonesia.
It also comes at a time when interest in ride-hailing and car-sharing is growing, particularly in Singapore where a new electric car-sharing scheme called BlueSG was launched with much fanfare in December 2017.
Besides offering ride-hailing services and possibly a car-sharing programme in future through the Hyundai partnership, Grab has also partnered with self-driving startup nuTonomy in a driverless car trial in Singapore.
Elsewhere in Asia, China’s Baidu has reportedly developed its own self-driving Apollo platform that has been undergoing testing in cars on public roads since late last year.