Reports are emerging of a possible sale of Uber's Southeast Asia business to it's biggest rival, Grab. Grab is said to have around 95 percent of the market share in ride-hailing across 100 cities in Southeast Asia. Uber has struggled to make any substantial footprints in the market when competing with Grab. A sale to Grab, in a deal that could see Uber gain a sizeable stake in the company, could help clean up their finances as they prepare for an IPO as early as 2019. This wouldn't be the first time Uber have joined up with direct competition. They did the same in China when they sold their ride-sharing business to fierce competitors Didi Chuxing in exchange for a 20 percent ownership, and even more recently in Russia where they merged with taxi giants Yandex.
The biggest winner in this possible deal would be Japan's SoftBank, who have a sizeable stake, not only in Uber, but in Grab, Didi and Indias huge ride-hailing equivalent, Ola. At a internet conference last week in San Francisco, Uber's CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi said:
"I think the team ran through an inventory of where we competed, and if we compete on let's say even on a dollar-for-dollar basis against the local player, paying the same amount to drivers, collecting the same amount from riders, in general where we are now is, if both players are kind of spending equally we tend to win share. We've got a better brand, we've got better technology, better network, etc. Whatever it is, we tend to win share. There's certain markets, China and Russia, where that wasn't true. And if your only competitive advantage, or the only reason you can be in a market is because you can spend money, that's not exactly a reasonable proposition." CNBC have confirmed that neither Uber or Grab have yet commented on the possible deal.