Singapore-based transport network company Grab is making a larger ecosystem play with its latest deals.
Grab along with others has partnered autonomous vehicle technology startup Drive.ai in a $15 million deal even as it struck another investment in oBike.
Besides its interests in transport, it has also extended the scope of its business to encompass financial technology, following its $100 million acquisition of Kudo, which is crucial to the firm building out its GrabPay platform.
This investment in oBike will also enable it to expand its transport service offerings, with a TechCrunch report citing a source familiar with the matter indicating that it backed oBike as part of a $45 million Series B round announced in August.
Incidentally, Chinese transport service firm Didi Chuxing – Grab’s long-term backer – is an investor in Chinese ride-sharing service Ofo, which competes directly with oBike.
Grab’s investment in Drive.ai will enable its international expansion, as well as the establishment of a Singapore office in the coming months. Previously, Grab had partnered with another autonomous vehicle startup, NuTonomy, to deploy vehicles in Singapore.
The investment is complementary and will involve Grab assisting the firm with its evaluation of the local market for deployment of its techology platform, including facilitation of partnerships with government agencies and other local businesses.
In an interaction with TechCrunch, Drive.ai CEO Sameep Tandon elaborated: “When innovations happen in the region, basically they start in Singapore and then move out to other places within the region, whether it’s Indonesia, Vietnam or China.”
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