Uber exits most of Southeast Asia, sells to Grab

March 26 (UPI) — Uber said Monday that it sold its business in eight Southeast Asian countries to competitor Grab.

The deal allows Grab to acquire the mobile application-based U.S. ride-hailing company’s global services in the region of 620 million people, including its UberEats food delivery service. The deal gives Uber a 27.5 percent stake in Grab and reduces its market in Asia to India.

SoftBank Group Corp., the largest shareholder in both companies, pushed to reduce their competition, Bloomberg reported, with a ride-hailing market of $ 20.1 billion estimated by 2025.

Uber, Grab, China’s Didi Chuxing and India’s Ola provide an estimated 45 million daily rides. The San Francisco-based company has pulled out of other regions in recent years, including Russia in 2017 and China in 2016. However, it’s uncertain if it will exit India.

Uber has invested $ 1 billion in India, but has faced fierce competition from rival Ola, which operates in 110 cities compare to Uber’s 30 cities.

“It is not unthinkable that Uber would sell its Indian operations to Ola,” BMI Research Head of Automobiles Anna-Marie Baisden told CNN.

Still, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in New Dehli last month that India is “a very important market, not only in terms of our business today but where our business is going to be five or 10 years from now.”

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