Microsoft invests in ride-hailing service Grab
Singapore: Singapore-based ride-sharing service Grab on Tuesday announced that Microsoft will strategically invest in the company with the aim of improving delivery of digital services and mobility solutions across Southeast Asia.
As part of the five-year collaboration, Grab will adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred Cloud platform and make use of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities to increase and improve the capacity and capabilities of its platform, Grab announced in a blog post.
The financials, however, were not disclosed.
"We look forward to collaborating with Microsoft in the pursuit of enhancing on-demand transportation and seamless online-to-offline experiences for users," said Ming Maa, President, Grab.
The companies plan to work together on technology projects, in areas including big data and AI in an attempt to transform the delivery and mobility solutions in Southeast Asia.
"Our partnership with Grab opens up new opportunities to innovate in both a rapidly evolving industry and growth region," added Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Microsoft.
The tech-giant would also help Grab explore image recognition technologies and newer authentication mechanisms such as mobile facial recognition with built-in AI for drivers and customers who opt-in, in lieu of checking IDs to match drivers with their passengers.
The partners would also work on the deployment of in-car entertainment and productivity solutions across Southeast Asia, along with integrating Microsoft "Rewards Gift Cards" into the "Grab Rewards" loyalty programme for user-benefits, the post added.
Grab operates in 235 cities across eight South-east Asian countries, and the company claims its digital wallet, GrabPay, is a leading player in Southeast Asia.