Sina Technologies News, Beijing time, October 9 morning news, Microsoft said late Monday that the company will be headquartered in Singapore to share travel company Grab investment, as part of a strategic partnership.
The two companies said they will cooperate in the field of big data and artificial intelligence. And according to a joint statement, Grab will also use a number of Microsoft products, including the latter's Azure cloud computing services.
Both Microsoft and Grab declined to disclose the specific amount of strategic investment.
So far this year, Grab has raised $2 billion from TOYOTA and institutional investors. According to CB Insights, the company raised about $6 billion as of Aug. 2, 2008, and its assets were valued at $11 billion.
As part of the latest round of financing, Japan's Softbank is about to reach an agreement to invest about $500 million in Grab, Reuters reported on Friday.
Ming Maa, Grab's president, declined to comment on ongoing investment discussions, but told CNBC that the company is expected to raise about $3 billion by the end of the year. At the same time, he refused to compare the size of Microsoft's investments with the amount of money raised from other investors so far this year.
Grab has been supported by many famous companies including Softbank, TOYOTA and dripping.
The company operates in eight Southeast Asian countries, providing carpooling, catering, takeout, mobile payment and financial services. Earlier this year, Grab acquired Uber's business in the region and faced regulatory scrutiny in multiple markets.
As part of the deal, Maa explained, Grab will work with the technology giant to use Microsoft's investment to develop new ways to verify passengers and drivers with built-in artificial intelligence facial recognition technology to improve user safety and user experience.
Grab plans to personalize the user experience with Microsoft's data analysis, fraud detection, machine learning and computer vision technologies and services. The company said passengers could also book amusement facilities directly through Microsoft Outlook applications.
Microsoft believes that artificial intelligence is one of the top priorities of enterprise development and wants everyone to be close to it. Earlier this year, the company presented a world full of artificial intelligence at a major developer conference. The company is hiring engineers to design AI chips for its Azure cloud division, and in recent months has acquired two artificial intelligence startups
Johnson told CNBC that investing in AI is still the focus of the company's future.