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Microsoft invests in Southeast Asia's ride-hailer Grab

The partnership will allow both companies to work together on projects including AI and big data.

grabcar.jpg

Ride-hailing firm Grab grabs more investment money, this time, from Microsoft.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Microsoft wants in on ride-hailing action in Southeast Asia, and it's doing it with Grab.

Grab, who beat out rival Uber earlier this year in the region, has been seeking investments of $3 billion by the year-end, and has already raised $2 billion, according to a Reuters report. Both Microsoft and Grab declined to provide a figure of the deal when asked.

The partnership will see Grab working with Microsoft on various topics, including authentication mechanisms involving facial recognition, fraud detection using Microsoft's Azure, natural language processing for a Grab chatbot and recommendation engines using machine learning.

"We're excited to team up to transform the customer experience as well as enhance the delivery of digital services for the millions of users who rely on Grab for safe and affordable transport, food and package delivery, mobile payments, and financial services," said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president at Microsoft in a statement.

"This partnership signals a deep collaboration with Microsoft on an array of technology projects, including big data and artificial intelligence, that will transform the delivery of everyday services and mobility solutions in Southeast Asia," said Ming Maa, president of Grab in the same statement.

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