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Uber exits South-East Asia market with sale to Singapore-based rival

29 March 2018

GrabFood, a food delivery business, and GrabPay, a financial offering, are two other services that the company hope to expand throughout all major Southeast Asian countries.

The next stage of growth for Grab, the building of a Southeast Asia leading online-to-offline mobile platform, is now a possibility with the acquisition of Uber's services in the region...

"Passengers will get to enjoy shorter waiting times, more convenient, and affordable rides through one platform", he added. In the meantime, Uber will still be operational for the next two weeks. New entrants and the strength of second-place regional players such as Lyft the US have complicated those efforts.

Expectations of consolidation in Asia's fiercely competitive ride-hailing industry were stoked earlier this year when Japan's SoftBank Group Corp made a multi-billion dollar investment in Uber.

Chief Executive of Grab, Anthony Tan said,"Today's acquisition marks the beginning of a new era".

Uber in turn will receive a 27.5 per cent stake in a combined entity and its chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi will join the board of the Singapore-based company.

"It will help us double down on our plans for growth as we invest heavily in our products and technology", Khosrowshahi said. However, the statement did not disclose the value of the deal between Uber and Grab.

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Uber invested $700 million in its Southeast Asia business, less than the $2 billion it burned through in China before ceding its operations there to Didi.

The deal includes the sale of all of Uber's operations in the region including food delivery business Uber Eats.

The firms have said the deal will benefit customers but there are warnings that the deal will lead to higher prices for consumers.

Uber staff The Straits Times spoke to said that at 10am, hundreds of them were told to pack up their belongings and leave the premises by 12.30pm. As they will no longer have access to Uber's systems and network, they will be on gardening leave until Grab has found a role and has onboarded them.

"Our partnership with Uber will fuel our drive and passion for a better transport future even more".

A consolidated hearing on fare hike petitions on both TNCs still to be resolved by LTFRB on April 3.

Uber exits South-East Asia market with sale to Singapore-based rival