JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) –  U.S’s ride-hailing Uber swaps its Southeast Asia operations with 27.5 percent Grab shares, said the Malaysian company on Monday (26/3) for an undisclosed value. This deal is the largest-ever of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Grab said in a statement that it will integrate Uber’s rides-haring and food delivery business in the region into Grab’s existing multi-modal transportation and financial technology platform.

With the combined business, Grab aims to drive towards becoming the number one online-to-offline (O2O) mobile platform in Southeast Asia and a major player in food delivery.

Grab provides the fundamental services Southeast Asia consumers, namely safe and affordable transport, food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services.

Grab will extend its leadership as the most cost-efficient Southeast Asian platform, as it takes over Uber’s operations and assets in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. As part of the acquisition Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab’s board.

“We are humbled that a company born in SEA has built one of the largest platforms that millions of consumers use daily and provides income opportunities to over 5 million people,” Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, Grab said.

He added, this marked the beginning of a new era the combined business is the leader in platform and cost efficiency in the region. Co-founder of Grab Tan Hooi Ling said the will rapidly and efficiently expand GrabFood into all major SEA countries in the next quarter.

“GrabFood will also be another great use case to drive the continued adoption of GrabPay mobile wallet and support our growing financial services platform,” Tan Hooi Ling said.

“This deal is a testament to Uber’s exceptional growth across Southeast Asia over the last five years. It will help us double down on our plans for growth as we invest heavily in our products and technology to create the best customer experience on the planet. We’re excited to take this step with Anthony and his entire team at Grab, and look forward to Grab’s future in Southeast Asia,” added Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber.

Future Plans

Grab said it will rapidly expand its existing GrabFood businesses in Indonesia and Thailand to two more countries – Singapore and Malaysia – following the integration of the Uber Eats business. GrabFood will be available across all major Southeast Asian countries in the first half of 2018.

On transportation, Grab will grow its core transport offering to include more localized transport services and new mobility solutions, in partnership with other transport providers and automakers.

Grab said it will also collaborate with governments and public transport operators to link public transport services and create seamless and integrated multi-modal commuter experiences. The recently announced GrabCycle marketplace for shared bicycles and personal mobility devices and GrabShuttle Plus for on-demand bus routes are pilots toward this vision.

On Payments and financial services, Grab said it will continue to enhance and expand its suite of offerings under Grab Financial, including mobile payments, micro-financing, insurance and other financial services for millions of underserved and unbanked consumers, micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses in the region.

GrabPay as a mobile wallet will be available across all major Southeast Asian countries by the end of the year.

To minimize disruption, Grab and Uber are working together to promptly migrate Uber drivers and riders, Uber Eats customers, merchant partners and delivery partners to the Grab platform. The Uber app will continue to operate for two weeks to ensure stability for Uber drivers.

Uber Eats will run until the end of May, after which Uber delivery and restaurant partners will move to the GrabFood platform.

Grab said it is committed to cooperating with local regulators in relation to the acquisition. Grab believes the acquisition will add to, among others, vibrant and competitive ride-hailing, delivery and transportation spaces, and it will make a merger notification to the Competition Commission of Singapore.

Grab is one of the most frequently used O2O mobile platforms in Southeast Asia. Over 5 million people use the combined platform daily. Today, the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 90 million mobile devices, giving passengers access to over 5 million drivers and agents, the region’s largest land transportation fleet and agent network.

Written by Roffie Kurniawan, email: roffien@theinsiderstories.com