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Microsoft to invest in Singapore's Grab

Microsoft Corp. will invest in Singapore's GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. as part of a broader collaboration between the companies.

The strategic deal will also allow greater collaboration on technology projects covering big data and artificial intelligence, where Grab and Microsoft will explore authentication methods such as facial recognition with built-in AI for drivers and users to improve safety, Grab President Ming Maa said.

Grab will adopt the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and will tap its data analytics and fraud detection services.

As part of the Microsoft Outlook integration, Outlook users will be able to book rides on the Grab app.

The ride-hailing company will also pilot Microsoft's Kaizala mobile app to improve the efficiency of Grab's customer service teams.

"Our partnership with Grab opens up new opportunities to innovate in both a rapidly evolving industry and growth region," said Microsoft Executive Vice President Peggy Johnson.

The size of the investment was not disclosed.

Meanwhile, SoftBank Group Corp. is reportedly nearing a deal to invest US$500 million in Grab, which is seeking to raise nearly US$1 billion in its latest funding round.