Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Microsoft buys into ride-hailing firm Grab

Under the five-year deal the companies will collaborate on technologies including big data artificial intelligence and connected car platforms Microsoft invests in Grab as ride hailer adopts Azure platform
Katie Ramirez | 11 October, 2018, 09:57

And Microsoft will invest an undisclosed sum in Grab.

Microsoft and Grab added that they will work together to develop new ways to verify passengers and drivers, using facial recognition technology with built-in AI at a time when user safety has come under threat.

Both companies will work on projects such as big data and AI, but Grab has more to gain from the partnership.

The partnership will also see Grab adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform, as well as explore several innovative deep technology projects with Microsoft to enhance and transform the Grab experience for Grab's users, driver-partners, merchants and agents.

Renowned tech company Microsoft has reportedly announced that it will be investing in the Singapore-based technology company Grab that provides ride-hailing, ride sharing and logistics services in Southeast Asia. Being a leading provider of these services, Grab serves customers in around 235 cities across eight Southeast Asian countries.

Microsoft's machine learning and AI capabilities will be used to power Grab's advanced "recommendation engine" that analyzes user data and behavior to provide personalized services and content recommendations through the Grab application.

More news: Stocks have their worst day in months; Dow drops 800-plus points

Among the most interesting of features being researched by the two is the ability of the Grab app to transform a photo of a customer's location, taken with the phone, into an actual address that is sent to the driver.

To improve map creation and quality, Grab plans to tap into the power of Microsoft's machine learning capabilities.

Grab said on Tuesday that Microsoft would become one of its service providers across a suite of products and, in the same breath, noted that the USA tech giant will also invest an undisclosed sum in its platform.

In June, Grab launched a new innovation arm, Grab Ventures, aimed at uncovering disruptive companies and regional talent in Southeast Asia, as well as Velocity, an accelerator programme for growth-stage start-ups.

In addition to new cloud processes, Grab will also be taking advantage of Microsoft's wide breadth of productivity software suites.

Southeast Asia, home to some 640 million people, is shaping up as a battleground for global technology giants such as Alibaba, Tencent Holdings Ltd, JD.com, Alphabet Inc's Google and SoftBank, particularly in ride-hailing, online payments and e-commerce.

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