The Uber from Southeast Asia, Grab, debuted on Thursday in Wall Street with a 20 percent drop at the close after having signed the largest deal with a SPAC of history and record the best debut of a Southeast Asian company in the United States.
Grab may be an unfamiliar venture to many western investors who have not had the opportunity to travel around Singapore, Thailand, or Malaysia, to name one of the eight countries where it has a presence, but it is a giant that aims high.
The company run by Anthony Tan, in fact, acquired Uber’s own business on the eastern continent in 2018 in an operation in which the Uber CEODara Khosrowshahi acquired 27.5 percent of the Asian company.
And after having achieved a valuation close to 40,000 million dollars at the beginning of a listing on the Nasdaq which it reached after its merger with Altimeter, the Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) through which it seeks to achieve even higher heights.
The super-PP backed by large funds
Grab was founded in 2012 as one of the VTC apps born after the success of Uber, and since then it has become what the company itself calls “a super app” that encompasses passenger transport, food delivery and delivery. even a financial service that started with the payment system Grab Pay and continued with a microcredit system thanks to PayLater.
The valuation around 40,000 million dollars obtained by Grab It will report a profit of around 4,500 million, according to the calculations of the company itself, income that it plans to use to expand its business model beyond its approximately 187 million current users.
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According to the information disclosed by the company itself, some of the investors participating in the initial public offering of Grab, which started trading at $ 13, have been Blackrock, Morgan Stanley, T. Rowe Price Associantes, o Janus Henderson.
“We truly believe this is the time for Southeast Asia to shine, and we hope that our entry into the global public marketplace will help draw more attention to the tremendous opportunities in the region,” said Grab CEO and Co-Founder Anthony Tan. .
And that perspective is shared Morgan Stanley, whose manager Dennis Lynch stated that “Grab represents a unique growth investment in a dynamic and expanding market.”
Grab debuts and falls on Wall Street
The initial excitement about Grab quickly gave way to a collapse in shares that continued until the end of the day in New York.
The 20 percent cut in the share price to stay at $ 8.75 left the Malaysian company with a market capitalization of $ 34.5 billion, a billion below Bloomberg Intelligence’s estimate of real value. of the company after its IPO.
“The domain of Grab in the private passenger transport market gives you an edge over rivals like GoTo and Sea, allowing him to maintain his leadership in the sectors of the purchases of food and online products of the region “, indicates the analysis of Bloomberg, that expects that the sales of the company grow in the next years.
According to the same analysis, the growth and stabilization of the middle class in Southeast Asia “may boost the markets for home delivery of food and products to reach 28,100 and 11,900 million in 2025.” A very juicy cake that Grab wants to be sure, and that investors have not wanted to miss out on its IPO.