Recently news of Uber's plans to sell some of its Southeast Asia assets to Grab has come to light, however, the strategies and experiences of the two ride-hailing companies in Cambodia show that they have different approaches to new markets.
News of the sale has been rumoured for months, but Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal have reported in recent weeks that the two companies have agreed in principle to a deal that would transfer most of Uber’s regional operations to Grab.
Representatives of both firms in Cambodia declined to comment on any potential deal. Both companies have said they are seeking to localise services to adapt to the Cambodian market, which already features several ride-hailing platforms run by local entrepreneurs.
US-based Uber beat Grab to market in Cambodia, launching in September last year by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT).
It began offering its hallmark service, a sleek app that allows customers to call cars whose drivers take them to a predetermined location set on the app.
It was a fairly unique service in Cambodia, where taxis are a rarity and demand for drivers is often filled by motorbike drivers, tuk-tuks or auto-rickshaws.
So when Grab launched a few months later, it appeared they were behind the curve. But the Singapore-based company, which has focused on Southeast Asia and is known for adapting to local markets, has rapidly worked to establish itself in the Kingdom.
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