Toyota investing $1 billion in Asian ride-share firm Grab

Ride-share company Grab operates across Asia and has agreed earlier this year to acquire Uber’s Southeast Asian business. (AFP)
Updated 13 June 2018
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Toyota investing $1 billion in Asian ride-share firm Grab

TOKYO: Toyota said Wednesday it was investing $1 billion in Asia ride-share company Grab, as the Japanese automaker looks to expand beyond its core business into the “mobility” sector.
Grab, which is headquartered in Singapore, is a leading player in the ride-share industry in Asia, and earlier this year agreed to acquire US giant Uber’s regional operations.
In a statement, Toyota said the deal “is aimed at achieving connectivity for Grab’s rental car fleet across Southeast Asia, and at rolling out various connected services throughout the region that utilize vehicle data” stored by Toyota.
Toyota will place one of its executives on Grab’s board, and a second Toyota team member will serve as an executive officer at the company, which Toyota called the “partner of choice for ride-hailing in the region.”
The investment comes as Toyota works to adapt to what company president Akio Toyoda calls “profound change” in the industry.
Last month, Toyoda pledged to transform the auto giant to meet a “once-in-a-century challenge.”
“I have decided to transform Toyota from a car manufacturer to a mobility company,” he said, without offering much detail on what that would entail beyond providing “various services involving movement of people around the world.”
Grab operates across Asia and agreed to acquire Uber’s Southeast Asian business earlier this year.
The deal has run into trouble though, with Singapore saying in April that it would impose restrictions on the acquisition until it concludes a probe into whether the sale may have infringed competition rules.
Under the deal, Uber was to receive a 27.5 percent stake in Grab.


Careem looks to raise up to $200 million in China

Updated 20 November 2018
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Careem looks to raise up to $200 million in China

  • Investment bank China International Capital Corporation (CICC) is advising Dubai-based Careem, but it was not immediately clear when or if a deal would be finalized
  • Careem said in October it had secured $200 million in a new funding round from existing investors

HONG KONG: Careem, Uber’s main Middle East rival, is looking at raising between $100 million and $200 million from Chinese investors, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Investment bank China International Capital Corporation (CICC) is advising Dubai-based Careem, but it was not immediately clear when or if a deal would be finalized, the source said, adding there was a lack of familiarity and interest among Chinese investors in Middle Eastern start-ups.
Beijing-based CICC and Careem both declined to comment.
Reuters reported on Monday that CICC and New York-based investment bank Jefferies were both advising Careem on potential investment options and capital raising, including a possible Middle East M&A deal with Uber.
Careem, which counts German car maker Daimler and China’s largest ride-hailing company DiDi Chuxing among its other backers, competes head-to-head with Uber in most of the major cities in the Middle East.
Careem said in October it had secured $200 million in a new funding round from existing investors, and that it expected to raise more to finance expansion plans.
That investment, combined with previous fund raising and company growth into new markets and segments, gave Careem an estimated valuation of more than $2 billion.
Reuters reported in March that Careem was in early talks to raise as much as $500 million.