Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
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Microsoft and Grab form strategic partnership on AI and big data projects

Microsoft and Grab form strategic partnership on AI and big data projects

The huge commercial potential of Grab has prompted Microsoft to also invest money, as well as technology, into the company.

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. Step one is adopting Microsoft's Azure servers because of the cloud platform backing grab's ride-hailing and virtual wallet.

Microsoft's new relationship with Southeast Asia's biggest ride-hailing company Grab was sealed with a cheque.

"As a global technology leader, Microsoft's investment into Grab highlights our position as the leading home-grown technology player in the region".

Grab plans to use the tech giant's data analytics, machine learning, fraud detection and computer vision technologies to enhance user experience.


Grab operates in 235 cities across Southeast Asia and is the largest mobile online-to-offline platform in the region.

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. This will advance the recommendation engine for customers, improve driver pickup experience, and enhance the map creation and quality. Moreover, the Microsoft Rewards Gift Cards would be integrated into Grab's Rewards loyalty program.

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 United States tech giant will also invest an undisclosed sum in its platform.

"With their (Didi and SoftBank's) support, Grab will achieve an unassailable market lead in ride sharing, and build on this to make GrabPay the payment solution of choice for Southeast Asia", Anthony Tan, group chief executive officer and co-founder of Grab, said in the statement. Grab believes that every Southeast Asian should benefit from the digital economy, and the company provides access to safe and affordable transport, food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services. For more information, please visit www.grab.com.

Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge.

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