Uber fights back in Singapore

With rival Grab making headway in Malaysia and Singapore, the embattled US based Uber Technologies is fighting back to regain lost market share.

Uber Singapore’s top taxi operator ComfortDelGro Corp Ltd will launch a new ride-hailing service in Singapore from Friday, as they team up against their key regional rival Grab.

UberFLASH, that will connect riders to drivers closest to them – either a private vehicle or a taxi, is the first collaboration between the firms since they said in December that ComfortDelGro would buy a 51 percent stake in Uber’s Singapore car leasing unit, Lion City Rentals said Reuters.

It is expected to give Uber a leg up in its battle for market share with Grab, Southeast Asia’s dominant ride-hailing player.

Grab has partnered with other taxi operators in Singapore.

In December, Uber sold a majority stake in its Singaporean car-leasing subsidiary to cab firm ComfortDelGro. As part of the deal, the two companies have created a joint venture — valued at $474 million — which ComfortDelGro will control with its 51 percent stake.

Uber will own the rest of the car-leasing company, called Lion City Rentals, while ComfortDelGro will take over operations and maintenance of the 14,000 cars that were once on the ride-hail player’s balance sheet.

That’s a big deal for Uber, which is eyeing a 2019 IPO.