Microsoft is investing $200 million in ride-hailing

Microsoft is investing about $200 million in Grab as the US group seeks to encourage the use of its technology among ride-hailing services around the world. In its first commitment to a ride-hailing company in south-east Asia, Microsoft will join a number of new investors in Grab, including Japan’s SoftBank, which will invest $500 million in the Singapore-based company as early as November… Microsoft invested in Uber in 2015 and partnered India’s Ola two years later. Both commitments were seen as a way for Microsoft to build stronger ties with companies with which it might want to do business. Ola adopted Microsoft’s cloud -computing service Azure and Grab has agreed to do the same. It will also use the US company’s technology to improve and broaden its mobile application… Microsoft’s and SoftBank’s commitments would take Grab’s total fundraising to date to $6.7 billion and its valuation “closer to $12 billion”… Grab and Microsoft will develop new authentication mechanisms, such as mobile facial recognition, to help match passengers to the right drivers… Grab will also use Microsoft technology to develop real-time translation services… and improve the quality of its maps.

Stefania Palma