Uber will leave Southeast Asia in two weeks, selling out to Singapore-based Grab for a 27.5% stake in that company. The Uber app will no longer function in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam. UberEATS will end shortly thereafter.
Uber and Grab share SoftBank as an investor and the move reduces competition. SoftBank is also an investor in Uber’s largest competitor in India and the move has fueled speculation of Uber pulling out of India if it can arrange a similar deal.
This is said to stop Uber’s financial hemorrhaging in the region ahead of an anticipated IPO next year. They’ve already bailed on China and Russia as well.
Uber employees in Singapore were given 2 hours to clear out the office (HT: David H.).
You all heard that Grab bought over Uber. No biggie to some. It affects the whole office when you received 2hour notice to leave. Yes the whole office evacuated the building. #jobless pic.twitter.com/lhruwAVmAc
— Syahrizad (@Syhrezd) March 26, 2018
In my view Uber has been higher quality than Grab, from drivers and cars to app and wait times, but that’s purely anecdotal. The bottom line for travelers in that the Uber app will not work in the region, you’re more or less stuck downloading Grab or taking a taxi (please don’t tell me about this or that local alternative).