Southeast Asian O2O giant Grab has announced raising US$200 million from travel reservations powerhouse Booking Holdings as the two are forging a new strategic partnership to allow cross-platform bookings, it said in a press release on Monday.
This means that users of the brands under Booking Holdings, like Agoda and Booking.com, will be able to book services on Grab directly without switching apps, and vice versa. Customers will also be able to pay using Grab’s e-wallet feature GrabPay, the companies said.
Booking Holdings had previously fostered a similar tie-up with Grab’s existing investor and ride-hailing ally Didi Chuxing in China, investing US$500 million instead. A recent report by Chinese media Caijing also surfaced saying that Didi is mulling an entry into hotel bookings using strategic alliances, which the company denied to KrASIA, citing its focus on upgrading user safety post controversial passenger murders that happened in the last few months.
In a statement, Ming Maa, President of Grab, said that Booking’s investment into the Singapore-headquartered firm is a “vote of confidence” in the company’s “continued ability to execute and expand into different O2O verticals, and roll them out across 235 cities” that it operates out of.
Grab started off as a ride-hailing app in 2012, but has gradually expanded its offerings by driving into other verticals like food and grocery delivery, parcel delivery, payments, and others. It is currently available in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
Editor: Ben Jiang