Honda invests in Grab as part of GrabBike collaboration deal

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Southeast Asian ride-hailing service Grab said on Monday it had secured an investment from Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co as part of a deal to collaborate on its GrabBike motorbike-hailing service, in the latest auto industry tie-up of its type.

Grab said Honda had agreed to invest an undisclosed amount in the firm, and the two companies would form a partnership to develop the ride-sharing technology and related programs for GrabBike drivers and riders in all countries where GrabBike operates. Planned programs include “driver education programs to promote motorbike safety, efforts to reduce traffic and environmental congestion in urban areas through rideshare and other technological advancements, and other initiatives.”

Automakers such as Volkswagen, Toyota Motor Corp and General Motors also have tie-ups with ride-sharing firms to hedge against a shift in the vehicle market away from private ownership.

Grab, the biggest rival to ride-sharing service Uber Technologies in Southeast Asia, raised $750 million in a funding round in September. A source familiar with the matter said the round valued Grab at more than $3 billion.

Earlier this month, Grab, whose services include taxi and motorbike-hailing, car-pooling, delivery and mobile payments, announced that Japanese financial services company Tokyo Century Corp had made a strategic investment in the firm for an undisclosed amount.

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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