Microsoft Partners with, Invests in Grab

Doris Richards
October 11, 2018

Microsoft's resources will let Grab explore image recognition and natural language processing capabilities, that could improve pick-up experiences by converting an image of your location into an address for your driver, and providing real-time language translation with an AI chatbot.

Grab's partnership with Microsoft comes at a time when it is facing criticism over changes that customers and drivers have perceived as heavy-handed and arrogant, following its acquisition of Uber's business in Southeast Asia, according to a new report by consulting and analyst firm Forrester.

Microsoft has signed a five-year agreement with ride-hailing, mobile payments and online-to-offline services platform Grab, which will see both companies collaborate on big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and mobility solutions projects.

Grab president Ming Maa said: "As a global technology leader, Microsoft's investment into Grab highlights our position as the leading homegrown technology player in [Southeast Asia]".

The companies will explore a number of innovative technology projects that will enhance and transform the Grab experience for users, driver-partners, merchants and agents.

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

Otherwise, it may manage guidelines, improve fraud detection, enhance its maps or powerful facial recognition to become aware of drivers and passengers.

Among a host of other joint projects, Grab will pilot Kaizala, Microsoft's mobile app and service for large group communications and work management.

The Singapore-headquartered company says it has a Southeast Asia market share of 95 percent in third-party taxi-hailing and 71 percent in private vehicle hailing.

Rewards integration. Microsoft will explore integrating Microsoft Rewards Gift Cards into the Grab Rewards loyalty program.

Grab has been on a significant expansion drive recently, seeing a partnership model as the best growth model for Southeast Asia. Its digital wallet, called GrabPay, is a top mobile wallet payment solution in the region.

Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Passengers may also be able to book rides through Microsoft Outlook in the near future.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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