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Toyota pumps $1 bln in Grab in auto industry's biggest ride-hailing bet

Reuters  |  SINGAPORE 

(Reuters) - Motor Corp has agreed to buy a $1 billion stake in Southeast Asia's in the biggest investment by a carmaker into a ride-hailing firm, at a time when traditional automakers are racing to team up with disruptive tech companies.

The value of six-year-old will be just over $10 billion after the investment, said a person familiar with the matter.

The deal comes as the auto industry faces a spike in the need for technological prowess with the advent of features such as autonomous driving, while app makers offer passengers the option to forgo by connecting them with drivers.

Some automakers have responded by partnering with makers of ride-hailing apps which dominate the fast-growing field of mobility services, in anticipation of a future of reduced

has invested in U.S. firm Lyft, whose rival is also backed by Meanwhile Japan's - also an investor in and Uber - last month said it would invest $2.25 billion in GM's autonomous vehicle unit Cruise.

Toyota's trading arm invested an undisclosed sum in Grab last year. This time, the automaker is lead investor in a financing round launched after Grab acquired Uber's operations in Southeast Asia, a region of 640 million people.

Grab called it the largest-ever investment globally by an automotive manufacturer in the ride-hailing sector.

The Singapore-headquartered firm did not disclose how much fresh capital it aims to raise. It raised $2.5 billion in its last round in July, resulting in a reported value of $6 billion.

Grab said it logs six million rides a day via apps downloaded onto over 100 million The firm also offers online to offline services, such as and digital payments, which it aims to expand deeper into the region using funds from its latest financing round.

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

It also said appoint an to Grab's board of directors while a dedicated Toyota will be seconded to Grab as an officer.

Toyota said it aimed to offer financing, insurance and to drivers based on data collected through already installed in some Grab vehicles.

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

The data could also help Toyota develop its own next-generation mobility services, including a self-driving electric vehicle aimed at companies for use in tasks such as ride hailing, package delivery and mobile shops.

Other Grab investors include Japan's Honda Motor Co Ltd, South Korea's and Chinese ride-hailing firm Uber acquired 27.5 percent of Grab in exchange for the U.S. firm's Southeast Asian earlier this year.

Grab's main rival is now Indonesia's Go-Jek which last month said it would invest $500 million to begin expanding abroad.

(Reporting by in and Naomi Tajitsu in TOKYO; Editing by and Christopher Cushing)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 14:42 IST
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