- Grab, a a Singapore-based startup, is in talks to merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in an effort to go public in the U.S. Grab is a ride-hailing company that offers digital payments and food delivery via its app.
- The deal, which would involve Grab going public via an acquisition by an Altimeter Capital SPAC, according to multiple reports, could value the company at $40 billion.
- Grab, considered the most valuable startup in Southeast Asia, according to Bloomberg, has backers including SoftBank Group, Uber and Toyota. It was last publicly valued around $15 billion in October 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Grab customers can create a digital wallet through Grabpay. In addition to being able to pay for Grab services through the digital wallet, it can also be used for payments in shops and restaurants. According to Soyacincau, these retail and restaurants include Tesco, McDonalds, Starbucks, KFC, Giant and Mr DIY.
One of the incentives to using Grabpay is a rewards system the company established. Every dollar spent through Grabpay equates to points that are also stored in the customer's digital wallet. Those points can later be used wherever Grabpay is accepted.
A ride-sharing company with wealth management and delivery services might seem an odd combination, but Tilman Ehrbeck, managing partner at Flourish Ventures, said it is a result of today's increasingly app-based world. "As more and more of our life, work and activities move online, tech platforms have played a big role in formalizing the economy," Reuters reported.
Ehrbeck further said tech platforms present a "real opportunity to bring financial services to the users who often are not reached by the traditional banking system, particularly true in Southeast Asia, which has a relatively higher mobile internet penetration."
The company currently operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Myanmar.