honda president takahiro hachigo

Honda President and Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo speaks during a press conference. Pic: AP

Automaker Honda invests in ride-hailing service Grab

SOUTHEAST Asian ride-hailing service Grab said on Monday it had secured an investment from Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co as part of a deal to collaborate on its motorbike-hailing service, in the latest auto industry tie-up of its type.

Grab said Honda had agreed to invest an undisclosed amount in the firm, and the two companies would form a partnership to develop the ride-sharing technology and related driver education programs.

Automakers such as Volkswagen, Toyota Motor Corp and General Motors also have tie-ups with ride-sharing firms to hedge against a shift in the vehicle market away from private ownership.

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Grab, the biggest rival to ride-sharing service Uber Technologies Inc. in Southeast Asia, raised US$750 million in a funding round in September. A source familiar with the matter said the round valued Grab at more than US$3 billion.

Earlier this month, Grab, whose services include taxi and motorbike-hailing, car-pooling, delivery and mobile payments, announced that Japanese financial services company Tokyo Century Corp had made a strategic investment in the firm for an undisclosed amount. – Reuters