Microsoft invests in Grab with tech-focused partnership

Ride-hailing firm Grab grabs more investment money this time from Microsoft.                  Aloysius Low  CNET

The cloud has been critical to Grab's ability to scale and manage its operations, having been using Amazon Web Services' Redshift and ElastiCache services to analyse data and data streams in real time, so it can point drivers to locations with higher demand for rides.

The deal will see Grab work with Microsoft on exploration of facial recognition, artificial intelligence, image recognition and computer vision technologies.

Both Grab and Microsoft are in fierce competition for market share financial investors should question how this pressure is.

Microsoft Corp has announced a new strategic partnership with Grab, in which it will be investing an undisclosed amount into the Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant.

"We look forward to collaborating with Microsoft in the pursuit of enhancing on-demand transportation and seamless online-to-offline experiences for users", said Ming Maa, President, Grab.

Together, the companies will work on several technology projects to improve the experience for users, driver-partners, merchants and agents.

Singapore-headquartered Grab has taken its ride-hailing business to 235 cities in eight countries in Southeast Asia in the past six years.

Data about the behavior will be analyzed by Microsoft's AI so that the system could provide services and content recommendations accordingly.

"As a global technology leader, Microsoft's investment into Grab highlights our position as the leading homegrown technology player in the region", said Maa. The company invested in Uber in 2015 and in 2017, it began working with India's Ola to build a connected-car platform and power in-car entertainment via it's Azure cloud-computing service.

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

"Grab has already made a significant difference in the way people across Southeast Asia get to places safely, order and enjoy food, and securely process payments", a Microsoft representative told me.

According to a press release by Microsoft, the companies would also collaborate on Microsoft Outlook integration where Grab would be providing ride booking options to Outlook users to hail rides directly through the app and be alerted by calendar reminders. For more information, please visit www.grab.com. The aim of partnership is to use intelligent services and transform the way Grab delivers digital services and mobility in the region.

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