Uber continues Asia retreat with sale to Grab

Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi has been pushing to clean up the company’s financials in preparations for an initial public offering next year

Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi has been pushing to clean up the company’s financials in preparations for an initial public offering next year

Grab has always been the dominant force in ride-hailing in Southeast Asia and speculation mounted that a deal with Uber was on the cards after Japanese financial titan Softbank invested huge sums in the United States firm.

Grab will integrate Uber's ridesharing and food delivery business in eight countries in the region into Grab's existing multi-modal transportation and fintech platform.

He said that there will be a larger fleet of drivers on their platform which means that passenger transportation needs will be met faster.

She added that the firm will be talking to more than 500 Uber employees here to see "how they would fit into Grab".

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Ride-hailing firm Grab has acquired the Southeast Asia operations of Uber with Uber picking up a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab as part of the deal. The value of the deal has not been disclosed yet.

Grab will integrate Uber's ride-sharing into their existing multi-modal transportation and fintech platform.

A shake-up in Asia's fiercely competitive ride-hailing industry became likely earlier this year when Japan-based SoftBank Group Corp's Vision Fund made a multi-billion dollar investment in Uber.

A heatmap showing the demand for Grab services in Southeast Asia is displayed during Grab's fifth anniversary news conference in Singapore June 6, 2017.

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Chief executive and co-founder Anthony Tan, a graduate of Harvard Business School, said the Uber deal "marks the beginning of a new era" in using mobile businesses to provide an array of services.

Uber's official statement is of course trying to spin it positively, saying they were able to grow the business after investing $700 million in the region.

SoftBank is also one of the main investors in several of Uber's rivals, including Grab, China's Didi Chuxing, and India's Ola. Khosrowshahi said that it will assist us in dueling down on our suggestions for expansion as we expend deliberately in the products and technology to generate the supreme customer experience on the planet.

The firms have said the deal will benefit customers but there are warnings that the deal will lead to higher prices for consumers. Only time will tell.

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"Our partnership with Uber will fuel our drive and passion for a better transport future even more".

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