Bloomberg reported on Monday that Alibaba is in discussions as the potential lead investor in the ride-hailing giant, which like others has seen revenue take a hit amid the coronavirus pandemic and dramatic drop in people moving from 'A' to 'B.'
Specifically, the Chinese e-commerce giant is considering investing as much as $3 billion into Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab by acquiring some of Grab's stock currently owned by Uber Technologies (UBER) - Get Report - which ended up with a piece of Grab in 2018 as part of truce between Grab and regional rival Gojek.
China’s biggest conglomerate co-founded by billionaire investor Jack Ma has so far steered away from the ride-hailing business, though a potential tie-up with Grab gives it access to data on millions of users in eight countries, a growing delivery fleet as well as a stake in digital wallet and financial services, according to Bloomberg.
SoftBank Group is reportedly at the center of the discussions, according to Bloomberg. The Japanese investment giant has used its position as a major shareholder to push Uber to unload stakes in Grab, Didi Chuxing of China and Russia’s Yandex.
SoftBank is also pushing Grab to make peace with Gojek, which is reportedly valued at $10 billion and has raised capital from both Facebook (FB) - Get Report and PayPal Holdings (PYPL) - Get Report. The two also compete in food delivery and financial services.