Toyota announced Wednesday it will invest $ 1 billion in ride-hailing giant Grab, valuing the six-year-old company headquartered in Singapore at approximately $ 10 billion.
It represents the largest investment by an automaker in ride-hailing and is the fourth for Toyota in the sector. The automaker is also a partner of Grab rivals Uber and Didi Chuxing, as well as taxi-based service JapanTaxi.
Toyota and Grab plan to launch new mobility services utilizing Toyota’s connectivity technology, one of which will be telematics-based insurance offering that could end up reducing the cost of insurance premiums for safer Grab drivers. There could also be some financing opportunities for Toyota, such as Grab users paying for cars by offering rides.
As part of the deal, one Toyota executive will join Grab’s board of directors and another will join Grab’s senior management team.
Grab is the leading ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia after a March deal to absorb Uber’s operations in the region. That deal was a major boon for Japanese holding company SoftBank, which is the biggest shareholder of both ride-hailing companies.
SoftBank is also a major shareholder in General Motors’ self-driving business GM Cruise, having purchased a 19.6 percent stake in May for $ 2.25 billion. Toyota is also developing self-driving cars which in the future could be linked with Grab. The two companies are exchanging information on self-driving cars but no decision has been made on collaboration in that area, a Toyota spokeswoman told Bloomberg in an interview published Wednesday.
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