Despite having a dominate position in some markets, companies like Uber decided to leave parts of Southeast Asia, China, and Russia. Even their local competition couldn't expand too far either. This means for those moving around in different countries also means balancing several apps at once. However a new company is hoping to solve this issue.
In the world of ride-hailing and its billion-dollar investment checks, an $8 million capital raise may not be a big deal but it does represent a coming-out for Splyt, a UK-based startup that is aiming to help make global ride-hailing roaming a reality — and not just within ride-hailing apps.
The four-year-old company announced this week that it closed an $8 million Series A round from a range of undisclosed (and existing) family offices and angel investors. In addition, the round included participation from Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab, the firm valued at $14 billion which acquired Uber’s regional business last year.
The deal will see Grab become a Splyt partner and it comes hot-on-the-heels of a similar rollout with Alipay, the digital wallet app run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial.
In both cases, Splyt is hooking Alipay and Grab up to its ride-hailing networks to allow users to book (and take) a taxi from another provider within the Alipay or Grab app.
The integration is already live within Alipay for Southeast Asia — Grab is scheduled to work overseas from early 2020 — and it means that users can book and manage rides directly from the payment app thanks to Splyt’s system. In other words, Alipay users can take rides through Grab without having to download the Grab app.
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