Uber to sell Southeast Asia business to Singapore-based rival Grab

Uber has agreed to sell its Southeast Asia business to rival Grab		
		
	Jon Russell

       @	   
   	7 hours

The U.S. company's focus will shift toward its operations other key markets in India and Japan, according to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

As part of the deal, Uber will take a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab, while Uber's chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab's board.

Grab confirmed on Monday, March 26, that it has finalised the deal to acquire Uber's Southeast Asia operations and assets.

The cease-fire marks a victory for Grab as well as SoftBank, the biggest shareholder in both companies.

Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan was quoted as saying the truce would bring to an end the leadership battle in a Southeast Asian ride-hailing market expected to reach US$20.1 billion by 2025.

Off-late Uber has been linked to various controversies that led the then-40-year-old CEO Travis Kalanick quit the company. The move will see Uber's ridesharing and food delivery business be integrated into Grab's existing platform.

Grab also plans to enhance other services in southeast Asia including its marketplace for shared bicycles GrabCycle, service for on-demand bus routes called GrabShuttle, and its mobile wallet GrabPay.

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Grab also said all Uber driver account information, including past history and ratings, will be transferred to Grab.

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. Uber has close to 60 percent of the market there, by some estimates.

Uber's Khosrowshahi said the deal is a testament to Uber's "exceptional growth" across the region over the last five years.

"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".

Grab is working to consolidate Uber's ride-hailing service into its own app.

The acquisition will boost Grab's competition against Go-Jek which is waxing strong in its local market, Indonesia and valued at $5 billion after Google's investment in the company earlier this year.

"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", he added.

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