Grab Holdings update

Grab is behind the world’s largest merger with the “blank check” group, and the company reported that its growth has slowed because the company is struggling to cope with the ongoing outages related to the coronavirus before the $40 billion New York listing is postponed.

The Singapore-based company’s first-quarter update comes at a time when the government’s lockdown measures to contain the delta coronavirus variant that is sweeping Southeast Asia has hit its ride-hailing business, which accounts for one-third of its revenue.

The gross merchandise value (GMV)-the total value of transactions on the Grab platform-increased by 5% to $3.6 billion, which an Asian fund manager said is “low” for a growth company. This is partly because the number of monthly trading users on the platform dropped from 29.7 million to 23.8 million compared to the same period in 2020, a decrease of 20%.

Grab provides ride-hailing, delivery and financial services in eight markets including Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines Record merger transactions In April, it cooperated with a special purpose acquisition company (Spac), which valued the business at 40 billion U.S. dollars and made it listed in the United States.

But since the merger was announced, the environment for Singapore’s super apps has changed.The Covid-19 pandemic in Asia has Significantly worse From the first quarter. All six of Grab’s core markets are under varying degrees of lockdown or movement restrictions, and in most cases the vaccination rate is very low.

With the help of its growing food delivery and financial sector, Grab reports revenue of US$216 million in the first three months of 2021, a record high. But the net loss was US$652 million. The company reported a loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of US$111 million, compared with US$344 million in 2020.

In addition to the deteriorating pandemic situation in Asia, the enthusiasm for the Spac deal has also weakened.The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has become More and more worried About the market for blank check companies. Fundraising and transactions have begun to slow down, and private investment in public equity financing-an important source of Spacs’ additional cash-has dried up.

In June, Grab postponed the time to market until the end of the year. The company stated that it needs to pass financial audits for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 fiscal years and is awaiting pre-approval of certain accounting policies from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said on Monday that despite the crisis, it was still able to achieve “strong growth” in the first quarter and is still expected to go public in the last quarter of this year.

Grab will merge with the New York-listed Spac launched by Altimeter Capital, a Silicon Valley group. Brad Gerstner, founder and CEO of Altimeter, said this is an “unprecedented era” for businesses.

He said: “None of us expected the third wave of Covid to hit Southeast Asia.”[Grab] Faced with this situation, it has increased market share, and these numbers are impressive when your core business is mobilizing personnel. “

Chief Financial Officer Peter Oey stated that the business showed “resilient and strong performance” in the second quarter. The company touted its growth opportunities in grocery delivery and financial services (including loans) to further offset the weakness in its mobile division.

The GMV of the food delivery business increased by 49% to US$1.7 billion.

Li Jianggan, founder and CEO of Momentum Works, a consulting company in Singapore, said: “The epidemic has obviously severely hit online car-hailing services, thereby slowing overall growth.” But he said that the health crisis will provide a tailwind for the fast-growing delivery business. .

“If the IPO later this year goes well, Grab may be able to use more resources to achieve more positive growth,” Li added.

As part of the update, Grab announced two new members of its board of directors, including Zillow co-founder and CEO Rich Barton as an independent director. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also serves as an independent director.

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