Booking Holdings, an online accommodations and travel e-commerce company, is investing US$200 million in Grab as part of the strategic partnership it entered into with the ride hailing company. This is part of Grab’s financing round which is on track to raise more than US$3 billion by the end of 2018.
Under the partnership, brands under Booking Holdings including Booking.com, Agoda and Priceline, will be able to offer on-demand transport services through their apps, powered by Grab. Meanwhile, Grab consumers will also be able to book accommodations powered by Booking.com and Agoda across the globe using GrabPay.
The partnership aims to help both parties broaden and simplify travel solutions for travellers worldwide. It also reinforces Grab’s commitment to becoming Southeast Asia’s everyday super app, offering ride-hailing, food delivery, parcel delivery and digital payments to consumers in the region.
A+M has reached out to Grab for additional information about the US$200 million investment.
Todd Henrich, SVP and head of corporate development for Booking Holdings, said, “Grab has scaled impressively across Southeast Asia over the last few years, establishing itself as a recognized leader in an increasingly competitive space, and we’re excited to partner with them to build even better travel experiences through technology.”
Meanwhile, Ming Maa, president of Grab said the online travel market in Southeast Asia is set to nearly triple by 2025 and the company sees “numerous synergies” between travel and transportation that will allow Grab to capitalise on this opportunity.
“As a global travel leader, Booking’s investment into Grab is a vote of confidence in our continued ability to execute and expand into different O2O verticals, and roll them out across the 235 cities in which we operate,” Ming added.
This is one of the series of partnerships that Grab has inked over the past few months. In October, it partnered with Mastercard to issue prepaid cards tailored to Southeast Asia. It also tied up with Fave to combine the strengths of Fave’s merchant network, along with its FaveDeals platform, with Grab’s user base and growing ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Grab Malaysia’s country head, Sean Goh, recently said the company believes Grab is “nearly there” when it comes to being a fully inclusive community. Grab also “firmly [believes]” all taxis and private cars are a core driver and beneficiary of the overall growth of the public transport. This comes after much chatter surrounding Grab and the taxi industry in Malaysia, with unhappy taxi drivers walking out of a dialogue session with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad over Grab.