Grab partners with Yoma Strategic for taxi upgrades, financing in Myanmar

Grab taxi. Photo: Bloomberg

Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd has signed an agreement with Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing platform Grab to upgrade the latter’s fleet of taxis and provide vehicle financing to its drivers in Myanmar, the companies announced on March 12.

Yoma Strategic’s wholly-owned subsidiary Yoma Fleet will provide vehicle leasing and financing options to Grab’s drivers in the country.

“Myanmar is a very important market for us. We look forward to collaborating with Yoma Strategic to further improve transportation here and meet the growing user demand by enhancing leasing and rental car options for our valued GrabTaxi drivers across our platform,” said Russell Cohen, Head of Regional Operations, Grab.

“This partnership will complement Yoma Fleet to provide vehicle rentals to Grab’s driver-partners, helping to improve the quality of the vehicles, driver service and safety standards for taxis in Yangon,” said Yoma Strategic CEO Melvyn Pun.

Grab launched its ride-hailing services in Myanmar in March 2017 by partnering with about 5,000 licensed taxi drivers in Yangon. The foray into the Southeast Asian country followed the announcement of a $2.5-billion funding round raised from China’s Didi Chuxing and Japan’s SoftBank Group.

The ride-hailing major has expanded in the country since and is currently conducting trials for GrabBike in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city in terms of population. Early this year, it introduced GrabTaxi Plus, a premium taxi service, and Grab for Business.

Grab competes with global rival Uber and local firms Hello Cabs and Oway Ride in Myanmar. It currently operates its ride-hailing app services in 178 cities across eight Southeast Asian countries – Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.

SGX-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings owns a diversified portfolio of businesses in real estate, consumer, automotive and heavy equipment, financial services and investments in Myanmar. Last week, it announced a plan to buy a 23 per cent stake in Digital Mobile Money Myanmar for $19.4 million.

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