Uber has agreed to sell its Southeast Asia business to rival Grab
29 March, 2018, 02:21
A multibillion-dollar investment in Uber earlier this year by Japan's SoftBank Group, already one of Grab's main investors, had stoked expectations that Uber would consolidate its Southeast Asia business with Grab.
"The acquisition accelerates Grab's path to profitability in its core transport business, as it's the most cost-efficient Southeast Asian platform", Grab, a fast growing Southeast Asian ridesharing, food delivery, and financial services business, said in a statement.
However, acquiring Uber's Southeast outlets will offer Grab a big opportunity to completely dominate ride-hailing services in the entire region.
Grab has always kept optimizing its app as per the local conditions, whereas Uber's app remained largely unchanged from the one it used in the U.S and other markets. "However, you can still use the Uber app in more than 80 countries around the world", the email read. The value of the deal has not been disclosed yet. The company has wasted no time to announce that Grab will be expanding its GrabFood services to all major countries within Southeast Asia in the first half of 2018 following the integration of UberEATS into its business. This deal would make them the leader in the region on the grounds of cost efficiency. New entrants and the strength of second-place regional players such as Lyft Inc.in the USA have complicated those efforts.
To minimize disruption, Grab and Uber are said to be working together for migrating the Uber drivers and riders, Uber Eats customers, merchant partners and delivery partners to the Grab platform. "It will help us double down on our plans for growth".
While both sides said the move would benefit customers, analysts raised concerns a lack of competition could push up prices. Only time will tell. As they will no longer have access to Uber's systems and network, they will be on gardening leave until Grab has found a role and has onboarded them. We will continue to work and collaborate with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), local government units, and other stakeholders to constantly find ways to improve our services,"Cu added".
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