Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Uber agrees to sell its Southeast Asian operations to Grab

New hires relax at a lounge area in a Grab office in Singapore Sept 23 2016 New hires relax at a lounge area in a Grab office in Singapore Sept 23 2016
| 29 March, 2018, 02:23

Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday, in what would be the US company's second retreat from Asia.

Grab now is the biggest ride-hailing firm in Southeast Asia.

Uber's sale in Southeast Asia, where Grab claims 5 million daily users, follows several strategic deals in competitive worldwide markets.

Uber's brand may be doomed to complete disappearance in Asia as the company left China past year after merging with Didi Chuxing, China.

The deal, which represents the largest acquisition by a Southeast Asian firm, will net Uber a 27.5 percent stake in the Singapore-based Grab and will enable Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to join Grab's board of directors. The Uber app will continue to operate for two weeks to ensure stability for Uber drivers, who can find out how to sign-up to drive with Grab online.

Uber declined to comment and Grab, which has an estimated valuation of about US$6 billion (RM23.5 billion), declined to comment.

The deal also signals a retreat from the market for Uber, which has struggled to gain market dominance over Grab.?


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.

Grab plans to make use of the acquired Uber services by merging with Uber Eats to directly compete with Go-Jek.

"While M&A will always be an important value-creation tool for our company, going forward we will be focused on organic growth - growth that comes from building the best products, services, and technology in the world, and re-building our brand into the mobility brand that riders, cities, and drivers want to support and partner with", he said.

The deal marks the end of intense rivalry between the two ride-hailing giants to win over 330 million Internet users in a ride-sharing market projected to be worth USD20.1 billion by 2025, according to a 2017 Google report. Preparation has been hard after the group lost $4.5 billion in 2017 as well as face high levels of competition in Asia and face a regulatory crackdown in Europe.

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. Last year, Uber merged in Russian Federation with the taxi-hailing app of internet giant Yandex.

"One of the potential dangers of our global strategy is that we take on too many battles across too many fronts and with too many competitors", Khosrowshahi told Uber employees, according to an email posted by the company Sunday night.

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