Grab Secures Investment from Microsoft, Create Synergy to Develop Smart Technology

As part of Grab's $3 billion investment target

Randi Eka - 10 October 2018

Microsoft announces an investment to Grab with an undisclosed value. It opens up partnership opportunities for both companies, particularly to maximize Azure platform to Grab's business system. Both are said to collaborate in the technology project development involving big data and artificial intelligence.

Grab and Microsoft will explore the image recognition technology with computer vision to improve the app experience. The implementation works as users can take a picture of their current location, and the application will automatically translate into the pick-up address.

Previously, Grab was reportedly targeting up to $3 billion investment this year. The latest news, Softbank's existing investors agreed to make an additional investment of $500 million. They also had raised a $2 billion investment led by Toyota, including from Microsoft's Co-Founder, Paul Allen.

The use of funding will be to realize Grab's ambition as "super app", not only for transportation service but also to optimize the ecosystem in many areas. Some innovations being mentioned are the food delivery service, e-money optimization, microlending, and more lifestyle features.

In Microsoft's perspective, this investment was to improve its platform penetration for the major technology business in Southeast Asia. To date, Microsoft's biggest competitor in the cloud computing platform is Amazon Web Services (AWS). In the ride-hailing sector, AWS has made a strategic partnership with Didi Chuxing for the latest technology exploration.

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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