SEOUL, Apr. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Holdings Co., the holding firm of South Korean energy and telecom conglomerate SK Group, has invested in Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab, a company official said Thursday.
SK Holdings made the investment in mid-March, Lee Young-suk, an official handling brand management at SK Holdings, said.
“We are interested in global mobility platform business,” Lee said, without elaborating on the exact value of SK’s investment and its stake in the Southeast Asian rival of Uber Technologies Inc.
The investment is part of SK’s strategy to try to create synergy with SK’s mobile technology, driving navigation platform T-map and electric vehicle battery business, he said.
In February, SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s No. 1 mobile carrier, successfully tested self-driving automobiles using fifth-generation network service for the first time.
Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with over 3.5 million daily rides.
The ride-hailing industry is expected to become a US$25 billion market by 2022 in Southeast Asia.
In February, Samsung Electronics Co. signed a multi-year memorandum of understanding with Grab to develop customized solutions for the ride-hailing industry, including microfinancing schemes for Grab’s over 2.3 million driver-partners, improved customer booking and in-car experiences and new mobility solutions.
Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s biggest carmaker by sales, invested in Grab in January for a possible business partnership in the transportation service sector.