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Toyota to invest $1 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab

Reuters  |  SINGAPORE 

(Reuters) - Motor Corp has agreed to invest $1 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm as a lead investor in the company's ongoing financing round, which was launched after it bought the regional business of Technologies Inc.

The investment by is the largest-ever by an automaker in the global ride-hailing sector, the six-year old said in a statement on Wednesday.

It is also the latest collaboration between a global and a firm as ride-hailing companies dominate the fast-growing field of mobility services, raising the risk of a future where declines in favour of such services.

Japan's last month announced it would invest $2.25 billion in the Cruise autonomous vehicle unit of General Motors Co, while and have agreed to supply vehicles for Alphabet Inc's

Toyota's investment will allow Grab, which counts peer and Japan's as investors, to further expand its range of online to offline services, such as and digital payments, deeper into the region.

will be valued at just over $10 billion after Toyota's investment, said a person familiar with the matter.

A will be appointed to Grab's board of directors and a dedicated Toyota will be seconded to as an officer, the ride-hailing firm said.

Wednesday's announcement deepens Toyota's partnership with Grab, following an earlier, undisclosed investment by the automaker's trading arm last year.

Toyota has installed its driving in some vehicles operated by Grab, using the collected data stored in its platform to analyse driving patterns and develop

The automaker on Wednesday said by deepening the partnership, it hoped to achieve connectivity for Grab's across and offer financing, insurance and to drivers based on data collected on its platform.

"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.

Data collected from the recorders could also help Toyota in its own development of next-generation mobility services, including a self-driving electric vehicle it plans to develop for companies to use for tasks such as ride hailing, package delivery and mobile shops.

South Korea's and Japan's have also previously funded Grab, which said it has achieved run-rate revenue of over $1 billion. The company's app has been downloaded onto over 100 million and the firm logs over 6 million rides per day.

Earlier this year, exchanged its Southeast Asian operations for 27.5 percent of Singapore-headquartered grab, ending a battle between the two for regional dominance.

Southeast Asia, home to about 640 million people, is a major arena for tech firms offering services from digital payments and ride-hailing to

Last month, Indonesian ride-hailing and firm Go-Jek said it would enter Vietnam, Thailand, and the in the next few months, investing $500 million in its international push.

(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. 10:11 IST