Uber Is Officially Selling Its Southeast Asia Operations To Longtime Rival Grab

The agreement comes after a long battle for monopoly on the Southeast Asian ride-hailing market.

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Uber Technologies Inc has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian division to Grab, its regional rival, in the largest ever deal of its kind in the region

Image via The Independent

It was announced on Grab's website that, "Grab will integrate Uber’s ridesharing and food delivery business in the region into Grab’s existing multi-modal transportation and fintech platform."

Uber will receive a 27.5% stake in Grab and its chief executive officer will join the board of the Singapore-based company.

In a statement on the website, co-founder and CEO of Grab Anthony Tan called the acquisition "the beginning of a new era"

Anthony Tan.

Image via Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

He added that, "The combined business is the leader in platform and cost efficiency in the region. Together with Uber, we are now in an even better position to fulfil our promise to outserve our customers."

Co-founder Tan Hooi Ling called the deal "a testament to Uber’s exceptional growth across Southeast Asia over the last five years."

The agreement would serve as a truce between Uber and Grab after a long battle for monopoly on the ride-hailing market in Southeast Asia, which is home to 620 million people

Image via Getty Images

According to BBC, fierce competition in the Southeast Asia ride-hailing sector has led to Uber and Grab offering discounts and promotions, which has reduced profit margins of both parties.

In an effort to minimise disruption, Grab and Uber are working to move Uber drivers and riders, Uber Eats customers, merchant partners, and delivery partners to Grab's platform

Image via New York Post

According to Grab's website, the Uber app will continue to operate for two weeks, while Uber Eats will run until the end of May.

Meanwhile, the GrabFood service will expand from two existing countries to all major Southeast Asian countries by next quarter.

This deal marks a further withdrawal from Uber's international operations. Uber sold its operations in China to local rival Didi Chuxing in 2016, and its Russian business to Yandex just last year.

Travis Kalanick, former CEO of Uber.

Image via Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

According to BBC, during a fundamental shake-up last year, Uber lost USD4.5 billion (RM17.5 million) as well as its chief executive officer, Travis Kalanick. Kalanick received a 17.5% stake in Didi Chuxing from the sale.

Dara Khosrowshahi

Image via Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Since Dara Khosrowshahi took over as chief executive of the operations in Russia, he has focused on cleaning up the company's financials in preparations for an initial public offering in 2019.

Grab, which has been recently valued at USD6 billion, currently offers services in more than 190 cities across Southeast Asia

In a statement from Grab, it was revealed that the company saw more than double the growth in downloads, four times growth in driver-partners and five times the growth in cities of operation in 2017 alone.

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