Microsoft Corp is investing an unspecified amount in Southeast Asian ride-hailing major Grab. As a part of the deal, Grab will be adopting Microsoft Azure as its preferred platform for cloud services.
This is part of a five-year strategic partnership that will allow both companies to collaborate on technology projects in big data and artificial intelligence, according to a joint statement.
No financial details were revealed on the deal, but Microsoft’s investment in Grab will form part of the $3 billion that Grab is aiming to raise by the end of this year. The US tech titan joins the ranks of OppenheimerFunds, SoftBank and Toyota who have invested in Grab.
Commenting on this development, Grab President Ming Maa said:
We’re very focused on partnerships. We’re taking the approach of opening up our platform – whether it’s in the identification, fraud, routing – there are multiple partners who can benefit from these open APIs so we can better reach our customers. Having an open ecosystem will be the fastest way to drive adoption in the region.
Last year, Microsoft unveiled a similar deal with Flipkart which resulted in the Indian e-commerce major adopting Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud computing platform. Microsoft also made a strategic investment in Flipkart as part of the deal.
Such deals are part of Microsoft’s efforts to propel Azure to catch up Amazon‘s AWS, the market leader in this space. The deal also gives Microsoft a larger foothold in Southeast Asia’s burgeoning consumer market.