MASTERCLASSING

Uber sells Southeast Asia business to ride-hailing rival Grab

Tyrone Stewart

GrabRide-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 acquisition sees Grab pick up Uber’s services and assets in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, while Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi takes a seat on Grab’s board.

“We are humbled that a company born in Southeast Asia has built one of the largest platforms that millions of consumers use daily and provides income opportunities to over 5m people,” said Anthony Tan, group CEO and co-founder of Grab. “Today’s acquisition marks the beginning of a new era. The combined business is the leader in platform and cost efficiency in the region. Together with Uber, we are now in an even better position to fulfil our promise to outserve our customers. Their trust in us as a transport brand allows us to look towards the next step as a company: improving people’s lives through food, payments and financial services.”

Uber’s deal with Grab follows similar agreements with Didi Chuxing and Yandex. In China, Uber handed over its business to Didi in exchange for 20 per cent ownership. Meanwhile, in Russia, Uber gave up its operations for a 37 per cent stake.

With the Uber purchase, Grab will look to expand its GrabFood food delivery business with the integration of UberEats, making the service available across ‘all major Southeast Asian countries’ within the coming months, starting with Singapore and Malaysia.

Furthermore, it will look to partner with other transport providers and automakers to grow its core transport offering, while also continuing to grow its financial services and mobile payment offerings.

The Uber app will continue to run for the next two weeks while Uber drivers and riders, UberEats customers, merchant partners, and delivery partners are migrated to the Grab platform. UberEats will continue to run until the end of May before being integrated into GrabFood.