October 29, 2018 / 12:07 PM / a year ago

Booking Holdings becomes latest investor in Southeast Asia's Grab

A Grab taxi drives on a street in Hanoi, Vietnam October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Kham

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - U.S. travel firm Booking Holdings Inc (BKNG.O) has invested $200 million in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab as part of a strategic partnership between the two companies.

The deal will enable users to book travel-related services through Grab’s app and pay via the GrabPay digital wallet, according to a statement. Booking Holdings will allow users of its brands’ apps to hail Grab vehicles.

Singapore-headquartered Grab, which operates in 235 cities across Southeast Asia, is looking to transform itself into a leading consumer technology group, offering services such as food and parcel deliveries, electronic money transfers, micro-loans and mobile payments, besides ride-hailing.

Booking Holdings oversees some of the world’s most popular travel booking sites including Bookings.com, Agoda.com, KAYAK and Priceline.com. In July, it invested $500 million in Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing.

Booking’s investment adds to the more than $2 billion that Grab has received so far as part of its targeted fundraising of over $3 billion by the end of this year. Earlier this month, Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) invested an undisclosed amount in Grab.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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