Microsoft makes a strategic investment in a Singapore-based technology company - Grab Taxi holdings Pvt. Ltd. Grab offers ride-sharing, ride-hailing, and logistics services in Singapore and other Southeast Asian nations.
Under the new deal, Grab will adopt Microsoft’s Azure as its preferred cloud computing platform. The idea behind the collaboration is for Grab to scale its own digital platform using Microsoft offerings. Grab has grown beyond ride-hailing; it has its own payment service and makes food deliveries too. Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President at Microsoft said, “Our partnership with Grab opens up new opportunities to innovate in both a rapidly evolving industry and growth region.”
Justifying his statement, the companies –under the new agreement –are reportedly planning to work on several “innovative deep technology projects” that includes developing new authentication measures like the AI-powered facial recognition technology, for both drivers and customers.
Grab also plans to use Microsoft’s data analytics, fraud detection, machine learning, and other technologies and services to improve the user experience. Customers will be able to take a photo of their current location and have it translated as an actual address for the driver. Passengers can also book rides through Microsoft Outlook, the companies said.
Both Microsoft and Grab declined to disclose the amount of the investment, however, rumors say that the sum was about $200 million which the companies deny promptly. Grab is already backed by prominent players including Toyota, Softbank, and others. The 6-year-old startup had already raised about $6 billion in total funds, thus far.