From its humble startup beginnings in Malaysia less than six years ago and despite the trials and tribulations the company had faced, Grab has grown from strength to strength and now has reached a new milestone. The homegrown ride-hailing and food delivery service provider has announced today that it has acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia operations making it the largest-ever of its kind in the region.

Grab Merger

Grab will intergrate Uber’s ridesharing and food delivery business in the region into its existing multi-modal transportation and financial technology platform, which the merger will drive the company towards to become the leading online-to-offline (O2O) mobile platform in Southeast Asia, as well as a major player in food delivery segment.

The merger takes over Uber’s operation in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. As part of the acquisition, Uber will take a 27.5% stake in Grab, and Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahsi will join Grab’s board.

“This deal is a testament to Uber’s exceptional growth across Southeast Asia over the last five years. It will help us double down on our plans for growth as we invest heavily in our products and technology to create the best customer experience on the planet. We’re excited to take this step with Anthony and his entire team at Grab, and look forward to Grab’s future in Southeast Asia,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber.

“We expect this combination to drive a better experience for our community of drivers and passengers. With a greater concentration of jobs and available drivers, we expect to see shorter wait-times and faster pick-ups. This would mean better productivity for our drivers, and better reliability for our passengers,” said Sean Goh, Country Head of Grab Malaysia in his written statement.

Paving the way to its number one status in the region, Grab’s game plan for expansion in SEA includes the expansion of its existing GrabFood business in Indonesia and Thailand, to Singapore and Malaysia following the integration of Uber Eats business. GrabFood will be available across all SEA countries in the first half of 2018.

Grab will grow its core transport service to include more localised transport services and introducing new mobility solutions in partnership with other transport provides and car manufacturers. Grab will also collaboarte with governments and public transport operators to link public transport services and create seamless and integrated multi-modal commuter experiences. The recently announced GrabCycle for shared bicycles and GrabShuttle Plus for on-demand bus routes will complete the public transportation network.

Along with these new developments, Grab will continue to grow and improve its suite of offerings under Grab Financial, which includes mobile payments, micro-financing, insurance and other financial services for millions of unbanked consumers, micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses in the region. GrabPay as a mobile wallet will be available across all major Southeast Asian countries by the end of the year.

To minimise service distruption, both companies are working together to promptly migrate Uber drivers and rides, Uber Eats customers, mechant partners and delivery partners to the Grab platform.

The Uber app will continue to operate for two weeks to ensure stability. Existing Uber drivers can find out how to sign-up to drive with Grab here. Uber Eats will run until the end of May, after which Uber delivery and restaurant partners will move to the GrabFood platform.

[Bryan Au]

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