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Singapore-based Grab today announced that it has received a $250 million investment from Hyundai Motor Group, an infusion that brings its latest round of venture capital to $2.7 billion.
In addition, Grab said it will partner with Hyundai to develop electric vehicle (EV) pilot programs across the eight countries it serves in Southeast Asia.
“As the largest fleet owner of EVs in Singapore, we are excited to establish an industry partnership with Hyundai Motor Group to drive EV adoption across Southeast Asia,” said Grab president Ming Maa in a statement. “We both share a common vision on the electrification of mobility as one of the key foundations for building an environmentally sustainable and lowest-cost transportation platform.”
Grab is on a fundraising tear this year. SoftBank is reportedly preparing to pump another $500 million into the company, according to Reuters. That’s on top of $6 billion the company has already raised, including $1 billion earlier this year from Toyota. The latest round, its Series H, is expected to top $3 billion before the end of this year, the company says.
Having acquired ride-hailing rival Uber’s assets in the region earlier this year, Grab has now fully turned its attention to becoming a single destination that will eventually offer users access to just about any service they could possibly need.
In July, the company launched GrabPlatform, an open platform that will allow partners to place their service in front of the 110 million people who have downloaded the app across 235 cities. Using Grab’s API, partners can tap into the company’s logistics and payments technology to reach this wider user base in Grab’s eight territories: Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
As it seeks to transform the economies of these Southeast Asian countries, Grab hopes to use its deal with Hyundai to accelerate adoption of EVs.
“As home to one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer hubs, Southeast Asia is a huge emerging market for EVs,” said Dr. Youngcho Chi, Hyundai Motor Group’s chief innovation officer, in a statement. “With its unparalleled footprint across the region and an ever-expanding base of customers and merchants, Grab is an invaluable partner that will help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Southeast Asia.”
The companies still start the first pilot program in Singapore next year, finding ways to encourage their drivers to migrate to electric vehicles. In addition, the partners want to work with local officials to address infrastructure issues, including rolling out more charging stations. Part of the challenge also involves funding research to address problems electric vehicles can encounter in the region’s hot and humid climates.
For its part, Hyundai says it hopes to double the number of environmentally friendly models it sells to 38 by 2025.
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