Toyota joins Grab's $3.4 billion funding, will install recorders in rental cars

TOKYO/SINGAPORE: Toyota Motor's trading arm became the latest participant in ride-hailing firm Grab's current financing round, which is expected to raise US$2.5 billion (S$3.4 billion) and led by Chinese peer Didi Chuxing and Japan's SoftBank Group.

Toyota Tsusho has invested an undisclosed sum in Grab, the companies said in separate statements yesterday.

The investment is the latest in a South-east Asian start-up as companies seek growth in the region's huge developing economies with young and tech-savvy demographics.

Under a pilot programme, Toyota Motor will have its TransLog device installed in 100 rental cars operated by Singapore-based Grab, enabling the companies to analyse driving patterns and offer improved access to connected car services.

Didi and SoftBank are already investors in Grab.

Grab has said the pair would add US$2 billion, and that US$500 million would come from others, making the fund-raising South-east Asia's biggest single round of financing.

A person close to Grab has said the US$2.5 billion fund-raising would value the company at US$6 billion.

Grab operates private car, motorcycle, taxi and carpooling services across seven countries. It said it has a market share of 95 per cent in third-party taxi-hailing and 72 per cent in private-vehicle hailing in South-east Asia.

But its share could be under threat, as San Francisco-based Uber - the world's largest ride-hailing service - is expected to increase its focus on the region after it folded its China business into Didi last year.- REUTERS