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Grab officially announces cab-hailing tie-up in Japan, Middle East

Consumers in Singapore and the Philippines will be able to book taxis in Japan and the Middle East via Grab app.

Starting tomorrow, Grab’s users from Singapore and the Philippines will be able to use the Grab app to book for taxis in five cities in Japan, and 94 cities across 13 Middle East countries, Grab has announced today.

Grab will offer this service as part of a partnership with Splyt Technologies, which will allow Grab users from the three Southeast Asian countries to book taxi rides through cab operators JapanTaxi in Japan, and Dubai-based Careem (which was acquired by Uber in March) in the Middle East.

Splyt Technologies is a B2B mobility marketplace based in London that connects institutional supply and demand for ground-based transport. In June, Grab announced its partnership with Splyt, aiming to give travelers convenient access to ride-hailing services anywhere in the world. At that time, Splyt also announced its USD 8 million Series A funding round, including investment from Grab.

Grab said in a press statement that it aims to become the every day, everything app for Southeast Asia’s users, even when they are abroad.

With Splyt, international travelers visiting Southeast Asia can also book Grab rides via Booking.com, AliPay, Kakao Taxi and Ctrip.

The tie-up in Japan was first reported by Nikkei Asia Review on Friday, but there was confusion over if this was done via a local partner, or the Singapore-based company would be actually expanding its operations directly in Japan.

In Southeast Asia, the ride-hailing sector has the potential to exceed USD 40 billion by 2025, according to the e-Conomy SEA report by Google and Temasek, but the competition is getting fiercer and biggest regional players like Grab and Gojek are venturing into other verticals to sustain their runway.