|Phenny Lynn Palec |||Dec 12, 2016 10:00 PM EST|
(Photo : Getty Images) Honda and Alphabet are reportedly in talks to collaboratively develop autonomous cars.
Japanese auto giant Honda recently announced that it is investing in Grab, the ride-sharing service widely held as Southeast Asia's answer to Uber. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. However, many industry analysts said that it is part of Honda's strategy to broaden its market into the growing ride-sharing industry.
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In September, Grab closed an investment round led by SoftBank and raised $750 million, pushing the company's valuation to $3 billion. The latest deal is part of Grab's huge Series F round of funding following the recently signed financial investment from Tokyo Century, according to Tech Crunch.
While many market analysts said that the Honda investment is a major deal for Grab, some are still skeptical as to what Honda's role will be. Honda said that it will focus on motorbikes, although there are some who said the company may have bigger plans at hand.
Grab President Ming Maa told Reuters, "We are in the planning stages on exactly what a full partnership will look like, and there are many different prongs of that. One prong would obviously include selling Honda motorbikes within the region."
Grab's latest deal with Honda is the first one it has signed with an automaker. Aside from Honda, Grab is also open for partnership deals with other motoring companies in order to reduce traffic and increase safety for its users.
Grab currently operates in 32 cities, spanning six countries in the Southeast Asian region. Grab claims that it has more than 24 million app downloads and has a pool of more than 500,000 drivers.
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