Toyota Motor to invest US$1 billion in ride-hailing firm Grab

SINGAPORE - Toyota Motor Corp has agreed to invest $1 billion (S$1.34 billion) in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab as a lead investor in the company's ongoing financing round, which was launched after it bought Uber Technologies' regional business.

The investment by Toyota is the largest-ever by an automaker in the global ride-hailing sector, the six-year-old start-up said in a statement on Wednesday.

It will allow Grab to further expand its range of online to offline services, such as food delivery and digital payments, deeper into the region.

A Toyota executive will be appointed to Grab's board of directors and a dedicated Toyota team member will be seconded to Grab as an executive officer, the ride-hailing firm said.

Toyota's trading arm has previously invested in Grab, which also counts Chinese peer Didi Chuxing and Japan's SoftBank Group Corp as investors.

Earlier this year, Uber sold its regional operations to Grab for a 27.5 per cent stake in the Singapore-headquartered firm, ending a bruising battle between the two for regional dominance.