Microsoft invests in Southeast Asia's ride-hailer Grab

Ming Maa president of Grab, with Peggy Johnson Executive Vice President of Business Development Microsoft

Grab was also in the news recently owing to its deal with SoftBank which is set to invest over $500 million in the ride-hailing firm.

Microsoft's investment in Grab will see the company use Microsoft tech to improve user safety and experience. Microsoft has a history of partnering up with ride-hailing services, the company invested and partnered with Uber in the year 2015 and in 2017, it started working with Ola to build a connected vehicle platform and also to provide in-car entertainment through its Azure cloud-computing service.

Microsoft has announced it will invest in Grab as part of its collaboration with the South East Asian ride-sharing platform.

"We look forward to collaborating with Microsoft in the pursuit of enhancing on-demand transportation and seamless online-to-offline experiences for users", said Ming Maa, President, Grab. "As a global technology leader, Microsoft's investment into Grab highlights our position as the leading homegrown technology player in the region", Maa added. "Tapping into the power of Microsoft's intelligent cloud and AI capabilities, the companies will engage on a number of innovation technology projects to transform the experience for customers".

Microsoft's machine learning and AI capabilities will be used to power Grab's advanced "recommendation engine" that analyzes user data and behavior to provide personalized services and content recommendations through the Grab application.

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And the event, which is held on the first Monday in May every year, will be hosted by Harry Styles , Serena Williams and Lady Gaga .

After that, the plans get larger, as it anticipates the use of machine learning and photo recognition to allow passengers share their region with a driver with the aid of taking a photograph of their surroundings that the device acknowledges and converts into an address.

Otherwise, it may manage guidelines, improve fraud detection, enhance its maps or powerful facial recognition to become aware of drivers and passengers.

Microsoft EVP Peggy Johnson told CNBC, "We're fascinated with the companies that are emerging from Southeast Asia".

According to a press release by Microsoft, the companies would also collaborate on Microsoft Outlook integration where Grab would be providing ride booking options to Outlook users to hail rides directly through the app and be alerted by calendar reminders. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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