SK Holdings is latest chaebol to invest in Singapore’s GrabSK Holdings, the holding firm of 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.
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 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 $25 billion market by 2022 in Southeast Asia.
In February, Samsung Electronics 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.
Hyundai Motor invested in Grab in January for a possible business partnership in the transportation service sector.