By Don Reisinger
October 9, 2018

Microsoft is strengthening its relationship with Grab.

The tech giant on Monday announced that it has made a “strategic investment” in the ride-hailing company Grab and the companies have signed a five-year deal that will allow them to collaborate on a variety of projects, spanning big data and artificial intelligence. Microsoft didn’t say how much it invested in Grab.

Microsoft’s Grab partnership could be a boon for both companies. Grab has a massive presence in Southeast Asia, where in addition to providing ride-hailing to consumers, it plays a major role in digital payments, financial services, and food delivery. The company has a presence in 235 cities across eight countries in the region.

Integrating Microsoft’s range of solutions into Grab’s business will give the software giant a foothold in its software and services. Microsoft said that its cloud-based Azure platform will factor heavily into Grab’s platforms and Grab will employ its data analytics and fraud detection to help Grab prevent fraudulent transactions. Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technologies will be used by Grab to deliver personalized recommendations through its app. Grab will even use Microsoft’s machine learning technology to improve its “map creation and quality.”

Looking ahead, Grab also plans to integrate Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft’s in-car infotainment software, and more.

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