Grab ties up with SMRT, secures debt financing of US$700m

Grab has signed an exclusive partnership with SMRT in a bid to bolster its car rental fleet in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, the company also secured debt facilities of up to US$700 million. The debt financing, which is secured from global and regional banks, will also be used with the aim to build the largest car rental programme in Southeast Asia, according to a press statement.

Through the SMRT partnership, Grab will have exclusive access to SMRT’s entire network of taxis and Stride private-hire cars. This includes current and future taxi and private car fleet management capabilities. Driver partners of Grab who rent vehicles through Grab’s car rental business, GrabRentals, will also enjoy “competitive vehicle rental and maintenance rates”.

According to Grab, it is also to meet “robust demand” from Grab’s driver partners in the region. With the debt facilities, Grab looks to make more cars available for rental. It also looks to provide more favourable rental terms and services for driver partners, and increase the supply of vehicles on the road, making rides faster and more affordable for passengers.

“The fleet will include eco-friendly hybrid and fully electric vehicles for an improved driving experience, while drastically reducing drivers’ operating costs. This will translate into higher driver earnings and more affordable rides for passengers,” the statement added.

“Now with over 72% market share in the region, we will further consolidate our unassailable market lead through the largest car rental programme in Southeast Asia,” Ming Maa, president of Grab, said.

“Ultimately, we want to provide affordable services for driver-partners and passengers, and serve all segments of society including public transport users,” Lim Kell Jay, head of Grab Singapore, said.

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