In a move that will extend the reach of its services outside of Southeast Asia, Grab has extended a partnership with Splyt Technologies and invested in the United Kingdom-based startup. Through the technology, Grab users venturing beyond that region can make ride reservations and have those fulfilled by Splyt’s partners without the need for an additional app, Reuters reported.
Through the partnership between Splyt and Grab, Alipay and Ctrip clients visiting Southeast Asia can hail Grab rides via their own apps. Although Splyt doesn’t operate its own ride-hailing service, it does provide partners with that option in more than 1,000 cities. At the same time, it was noted that the investment by Grab is part of an $8 million fundraising round.
The partnership falls into Grab’s strategy of becoming a so-called “super-app” through expanding its service from food delivery and payments to transport, according to the report. Separately, last year, Grab rolled out a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) for developers dubbed GrabPlatform, with the mission to create the first everyday super-app in Southeast Asia.
The Splyt investment comes as news surfaced that Grab had notched $4.5 billion in a round of funding led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund. Grab said SoftBank’s Vision Fund accounted for a third of the investment, according to reports in March. The ride-hailing startup said the most recent fundraising effort was the largest private investment round to hit Southeast Asia.
Grab President Ming Maa said the company is still receiving a lot of interest from investors and could take on more funding this year. Grab “look[s] forward to welcoming more global industry leaders as partners in 2019,” Maa said in a statement, according to reports. Meanwhile, Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s chief executive, said the company is excited to be part of Grab’s progress as it grows.