Asia: competition intensifies for Uber’s car-sharing service image

The San Francisco-based Uber Technologies is probably the best-known car-sharing company, but that doesn’t mean its global expansion doesn’t meet strong regional opposition.

Uber Technologies Inc., a San-Francisco-based technology company has become world famous for two very different facts – it has a huge valuation and is the target of worldwide protests from taxi or limo operators and increasingly banned by regulators. For example, in the Southeast Asian region, the service may (or may not, according to the latest developments) be banned from Vietnam. It also faces renewed competition in the region as SoftBank – a technology company controlled by Masayoshi Son – has elected to invest $250 million in GrabTaxi – cab-booking service in the area. Anthony Tan, who created the mobile-phone application GrabTaxi in 2012, said during an interview in Bangkok about the new financial backing, but declined to provide specific share sale details. The company has managed so far to raise around $340 million over the past 14 months, according to a company statement.

GrabTaxi’s service was set up by Tan, a Harvard Business School alumnus, has Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte and Alibaba Group Holding backer GGV Capital among the investors and can be used in 17 cities in six Southeast Asian nations, including Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Its network now consists of 60,000 taxi drivers – reaching a fourfold increase over the figures of last year.

Via Bloomberg