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November 7, 2018

Hyundai-Kia to invest another US$250m in Grab

Hyundai Motor Group and Grab Holdings, which claims to be southeast Asia's leading O2O (online to offline) mobile platform, announced an agreement under which Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation will invest an additional US$250m into Grab and establish a partnership to pilot EV programs in the region.

By Olly Wehring

Hyundai Motor Group and Grab Holdings, which claims to be southeast Asia's leading O2O (online to offline) mobile platform, announced an agreement under which Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation will invest an additional US$250m into Grab and establish a partnership to pilot EV programs in the region.   Under the EV partnership, Grab and the Hyundai Motor affiliates will bring together stakeholders from the EV industry to collaborate on measures to improve EV adoption and awareness in southeast Asia, a statement said.   "As home to one of the world's fastest growing consumer hubs, southeast Asia is a huge emerging market for EVs," said Youngcho Chi, Hyundai Motor Group's chief innovation officer and head of strategy & technology.

"With its unparalleled footprint across the region, and an ever-expanding base of customers and merchants, Grab is an invaluable partner that will help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in southeast Asia."   Grab, Hyundai and Kia will launch a series of EV pilot projects, starting with Singapore in 2019, focused on using EVs to maximise cost efficiencies for Grab's drivers. The EV partnership will also work with regional stakeholders including governments and infrastructure players to improve EV infrastructure in the region, such as the building of a network of quick-charge stations. The EV partnership will also explore the development of customised maintenance packages for Grab EV drivers and conduct research into how EVs can be most efficiently deployed in hot and humid climates.   "As the largest fleet owner of EVs in Singapore, we are excited to establish an industry partnership with Hyundai to drive EV adoption. We both share a common vision on the electrification of mobility as one of the key foundations for building an environmentally sustainable and lowest-cost transportation platform," said Ming Maa, president of Grab.   The three companies will also explore how to customise EVs to optimise them for mobility service platforms.   The additional investment builds on Grab's existing strategic partnership with Hyundai and brings Grab's current fundraising to $2.7bn raised. Grab is on track to raise over $3bn by the end of this year.

Investors in Grab's current financing round include Booking Holdings, Microsoft, Toyota, and global financial institutions such as OppenheimerFunds, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, and Citi Ventures.   Hyundai first invested in Grab in January. In August, Grab announced a partnership with Singapore energy utilities provider, SP Group, to use its public EV charging network.

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