Today, those rumours and speculations are put to rest as Grab officially announces that they're taking over operations for Uber in Southeast Asia. Not only that, Uber also gained a 27.5 percent stake in Grab as a result of selling their regional assets to the Singapore-based transport network company.
Pulling out of markets like Southeast Asia would boost profits at a company that has burned through $10.7 billion since its founding nine years ago. After failing to compete with the local rival, it made a decision to sell its business to the competitor in exchange for a stake back in 2016.
In emails sent to staff, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company would merge with its big Southeast Asian rival, Grab. SoftBank also invested in Grab. Completely new Grab driver are required to sign up. Riders, likewise, will need to download the Grab app and set up accounts, although their Uber accounts will still work outside Southeast Asia.
Singapore-based food delivery and rideshare service Grab has agreed a deal to acquire Uber's South East Asian operations, including the UberEats food delivery service.
Grab provides services in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. That means commuters will still be able to use the separate apps of Uber and Grab for two more weeks.
The move will free up capital to execute on Uber's growth plans in core markets like North America, Latin America, India and Europe and invest in engineering and product development, they said.
The company's full-year net loss widened to $4.5 billion in 2017 as it endured multiple scandals and the departure of its co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick.
Khosrowshahi has been pushing to clean up the company's financials in preparation for an initial public offering next year. A more robust food service will give Grab an advantage over Go-Jek, according to a person close to Grab.
"One of the potential dangers of our global strategy is that we take on too many battles across too many fronts and with too many competitors", Khosrowshahi said in one email.
Uber had previously retreated from China and Russian Federation.