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The Big Story

In role reversal, Southeast Asia's VCs are investing in US tech

Singapore's Grab pours millions into driverless car startups

ERWIDA MAULIA, Nikkei staff writer | Indonesia

JAKARTA/MOUNTAIN VIEW, U.S. -- Grab, Southeast Asia's leading ride-hailing app, is well known for the vast amounts of money it has received from investors: about $14 billion and counting. Soon, Grab may also be known for the investments it makes.

In 2017, Grab joined a funding round that invested $15 million in drive.ai, a driverless-car startup developed by researchers from Stanford University. A year earlier it formed a partnership with nuTonomy, another autonomous-vehicle company, spun off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Grab's international ambitions are also apparent in its decision to open an engineering center in Seattle, where it reportedly employs more than 100 people.

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