Toyota makes record $1 billion investment in ride-hailing firm Grab ,Toyota is placing a big bet on Southeast Asia's largest ride-hailing company. The Japanese company is investing $1 billion in Singapore-based Grab -- the biggest ever investment by a traditional automaker in a ride-hailing firm -- the companies announced Wednesday. MORE: http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/13/technology/toyota-grab-car-singapore/index.html?iid=surge-story-summary
Facts: 1. Grab operates in 8 South east Asia countries which started out in Malaysia has relocated headquarters to Singapore.
2. March 2018 - Grab has bought Uber's south east Asian operation in exchange for company stock and reportedly $100 million in cash. Uber now owns 27.5% of Grab.
3. Grab is privately valued at 6.5 billion USD (2018 May)
4. Toyota invested $1 billion in Grab at a $10 billion dollar total valuation for 1/10th of the company.
Analysis: Toyota is in the car manufacturing business; Grab App is a software ride-hailing business on the telephone.
The comparison could be similar to an oven manufacturer acquiring a restaurant which uses ovens to make pizza. There is small strategic advantages in acquiring the restaurant other than investment value.
Conclusion: If Toyota is starting a venture capital fund they should seek out investment professionals to manage the fund. If Toyota is acquiring companies for strategy advantages in the car business, then Grab would not be strategic.