The Japanese automaker Toyota (TM) has invested in Grab, Uber’s biggest ride-hailing rival in Southeast Asia.
Grab said Wednesday that Toyota is participating in the same financing round that has also seen SoftBank and Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-hailing firm, invest in the Singapore-based company.
The round is estimated to have a total of $2.5 billion. According to a source cited by Reuters, the round will value Grab at $6 billion. Grab claims to be the ride-hailing market leader in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
This is the first investment made by Toyota’s Next Technology Fund, launched in April to help the company move into new markets and explore new technologies. And indeed, the new tie-up goes beyond financing.
In a separate statement, Grab said it would give Toyota access to data on the driving patterns of 100 Toyota cars in the Grab fleet, as captured by the car manufacturer’s own Translog data recorder.
Toyota launched Translog last year with corporate customers in mind—if fleet operators install the units in their cars, in order to monitor their drivers’ activities, they can get insurance reductions.
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Grab’s new partnership isn’t just with Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Financial Services Corporation—it also involves the Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co., which has previously worked with Toyota on offering discounted fees to Translog users.
“Toyota’s team will…analyze the data set and, based on this analysis, offer recommendations on how other connected car services on the Toyota Mobility Service Platform (MSPF)–such as user-based insurance, financing program, and predictive maintenance–could enhance the Grab experience for drivers on the Grab platform,” the ride-hailing firm said in its statement.
Toyota isn’t the only Japanese automotive firm working with Grab. When Honda invested in the company at the end of last year, part of the deal was getting its motorbike taxi drivers using Honda’s bikes.
And Toyota has also invested in other ride-hailing players, most notably Uber, whose drivers can now get flexible leasing terms for Toyota vehicles.