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GrabTaxi invests US$100m in Singapore R&D centre

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MOBILE phone transport app GrabTaxi will invest US$100 million over a few years in its first research and development (R&D) centre in Singapore.

MOBILE phone transport app GrabTaxi will invest US$100 million over a few years in its first research and development (R&D) centre in Singapore.

Most of the US$100 million investment will be used to hire talent from across the world to join the GrabTaxi team.

The 4,500 sq ft technology centre, located in the heart of Singapore's bustling Central Business District, will be headed by Wei Zhu, GrabTaxi's chief technology officer (CTO), who was formerly head of the Facebook engineering team that developed Facebook Connect.

It will eventually house 200 engineers and data scientists, which is a specialised role focused on analysing data and spotting trends from multiple data sources.

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"This US$100 million investment over a few years is a milestone for Southeast Asian startups as very few brands - local or regional - have made such a significant investment in technology infrastructure and talent based out of Singapore,'' GrabTaxi said in a release.

GrabTaxi has recently hired senior talent from companies like Facebook, Amazon and Palantir Technologies, to tap on their experience and expertise.

Founder and group CEO Anthony Tan said Singapore was a logical choice for its hub due to the country's strong existing infrastructure and conducive business environment "to build and develop this global pool of talent".

GrabTaxi has over 3.8 million downloads and over 75,000 vehicles under its network across the region. It claims to have more than seven bookings made every second using the GrabTaxi app.

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