The global anti-Uber alliance just lobbed what the four companies hope will be another blow to Uber. At Recode‘s third annual Code Conference, Anthony Tan, the CEO of Southeast Asian ride-hailing app Grab, announced the official launch of a feature that allows any Grab loyalists to hail a Lyft using the Grab app when traveling to the U.S., all in their local currency.
According to Tan, Lyft users will also be able to hail a Grab car in Southeast Asia in the next few weeks. The Grab-Lyft cross-booking is just the latest aspect of a global partnership between China’s ride-hail app Didi, India’s Ola, Grab and Lyft. While Didi and Lyft launched its cross-booking feature in the U.S. a few weeks ago, Lyft users are still unable to hail a Didi using the app in China. That means in a few weeks when Grab and Lyft launch both ends of the integration it’ll be the first two-sided cross-booking in the anti-Uber alliance.
The move to allow for cross-booking is an attempt on the parts of each of these players’ to fend against the advantage of Uber’s global scale. Uber simply transplants its app, with a few tweaks, to new markets. But for Grab, Lyft and Didi, the logistics of this cross-booking feature is complicated. Each company has to have dedicated teams that help reconcile things like the currency exchange between regions for each transaction. There also has to be dedicated teams that handle any customer support issues in addition to a number of other aspects.
But Grab CEO Anthony Tan told Recode in a previous interview that he doesn’t see that as a disadvantage. In fact, he said because each company is working on creating individual products in the partnering countries, rather than transplanting their app to new markets, they’re able to curate the experience around their users’ travel behaviors. Didi, for example, will immediately call riders using the app in the U.S. to help them communicate with their Lyft drivers.
This two-way integration gives Lyft riders easy access to 30 cities in Southeast Asia and Grab riders access to 200 cities in the U.S. The partnership only covers Lyft and Lyft Plus services in the U.S. and GrabCar and GrabTaxi in Southeast Asia.
The company also launched its first-ever corporate ride-hail service called Grab for work. The enterprise solution integrates directly with Concur at no additional cost.
The news comes just hours after Uber announced that the company has raised $3.2 billion from a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund.