Hyundai is pouring $250 million into a car-booking company

Hyundai Motor is pouring $250 million into Grab, the south-east Asian car-booking company, in what will be the South Korean carmaker’s largest external technology investment. The $250 million investment is 10 times Hyundai’s earlier commitment to Grab in January, and will be coupled with 200 Hyundai electric vehicles in Grab’s Singapore fleet in 2019… Hyundai and Grab also said they will launch pilot projects aimed at building electric vehicle-friendly markets across south-east Asia. Hyundai’s investment takes Grab’s funding this year to $2.7 billion, with the company aiming to raise north of $3 billion by the end of 2018. The investment and pilot programme in Singapore — which also involves Kia Motors, a Hyundai affiliate — come as the South Korean carmaker sharpens its focus on environmentally-friendly technologies to boost growth. The electric vehicles will also help Grab minimise costs as it accelerates its expansion across south-east Asia… Hyundai is not the only strategic investor drawn to Grab’s access to south-east Asia’s consumers. Microsoft and Toyota have also invested in its expanding platform, which is diversifying beyond booking cars into food delivery, logistics and mobile payments.

Stefania Palma and Bryan Harris