The funding, which is part of an ongoing Series A round for GrabWheels, is part of a strategic partnership to invest in and develop two-wheeler electric vehicle (EV) solutions to accelerate the adoption of EVs in Southeast Asia.
“The partnership will enable both firms to jointly explore developing and deploying two-wheel EVs, specifically Kymco’s Ionex electric bikes, as well as the Ionex EV charging platforms, in Southeast Asian cities, where Grab operates,” Grab said in a statement.
The partnership will also include a research study in which GrabWheels and Kymco will look into how best to develop a shared two-wheel EV service, build electric charging infrastructure, and ensure Kymco’s EVs meet the licensing requirements across Southeast Asia.
GrabWheels was originally the e-scooter arm of the company. It repositioned itself to focus on new mobility options, including two-wheel electric vehicles, after a directive from Singapore’s Land Transport Authority in November 2019 prohibited e-scooters on all footpaths.
Grab has been steadily expanding its EV ecosystem by collaborating with governments and partners like automakers and electricity providers to drive up EV adoption.
By gaining insights on how to better operationalise and expand EV fleets, Grab said it can co-develop policies with governments to make EVs more affordable, thus encouraging driver-partners and fleet owners to adopt EVs.
“This joint effort also underscores our commitment to work with strategic partners and local governments to bring about a safer and more environmentally sustainable transport network,” said Chris Yeo, Head of Grab Ventures and New Platform Business.
Grab earlier announced that it had acquired robo-advisory startup Bento Invest Pte Ltd (Bento) for an undisclosed amount, with plans to rebrand it to GrabInvest.
In a statement, Grab said the acquisition would allow it to offer retail wealth management solutions to users, driver-partners, and merchant-partners, via the Grab app as part of its efforts to become a super app in the region.