Tuesday 9 October 2018 2:39 pm

Microsoft makes strategic investment into ride-hailing firm Grab

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Microsoft has signed a five-year agreement with Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab to collaborate on big technology projects, which includes the software firm taking a strategic stake in the business.

The valuation of the stake was not disclosed by either company.

The deal will see Grab work with Microsoft on exploration of facial recognition, artificial intelligence, image recognition and computer vision technologies. In time, customers will be able to carry out tasks such as taking a photo of their location, and having that translate into an actual address for the driver picking them up.

Read more: Toyota and Softbank team up on ride-sharing, driverless tech unit

Grab had previously said it planned to raise $3bn (£2.3bn) in fresh investment by the end of 2018, $2bn of which has already been completed.

Softbank is also in negotiations to contribute a further $500m to its existing investment in Grab, sources told Reuters.

Grab operates in 235 cities across eight Southeast Asian countries, with fellow startup Go-Jek its largest competitor in the region.