Hyundai invests in ride-hailing firm Grab

Models stand beside Grab cars during the launch of the ride hailing-firm's services in in Phnom Penh Cambodia on Dec. 19 2017

Hyundai to invest in Grab in Series G funding round

The Hyundai Motor Company, a reputed automotive firm headquartered in South Korea, has reportedly made huge investments in Grab, a Singapore-based firm offering car-sharing services to a dedicated consumer base.

South Korean automaker Hyundai is linking up with Grab, Uber's Southeast Asian ride hailing rival and mobile payments platform, to help expand the vehicle manufacturer's future mobility services in Southeast Asia.

The strategic partnership will help Hyundai explore new opportunities in the sharing economy and enhance its capability to lead future mobility in one of the world's fastest-growing markets, Southeast Asia.

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Hyundai Motor said on January 11 it has invested in the Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab for a possible business partnership. That means Grab could possibly tap into whatever that partnership delivers.

Hyundai's interest in Southeast Asia has grown since South Korean companies were targeted past year in a Chinese backlash over Seoul's decision to deploy a USA missile defence system against Beijing's objections. Young Cho Chi, chief innovation officer and head of Strategy & Technology Division at Hyundai. That will feature the IONIQ Electric, the model which Hyundai used as part of WaiveCar's car-sharing platform in Los Angeles.

Grab's Series G financing marks the company's latest and largest fundraising round and significant investors including Didi Chuxing, SoftBank and Toyota Tsusho have participated in the funding together with Hyundai. Ioniq is the world's first model that offers three electrified powertrain-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure battery electric - in a single body type.

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The automaker does not have a auto manufacturing factory in Southeast Asia, although it has some pure assembly operations in Indonesia and Vietnam where cars are made from "knock-down" kits comprised of major component groups.

Grab, which is Uber Technologies Inc.'s major rival in the region, continues to rise, with some reports suggesting it now holds a 75 percent market share.

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