Hi there, it’s Robin from Singapore.
Grab began this week by making a bold claim: Given Grab’s current growth rates, the company is expecting to be four times bigger than its closest rival in Indonesia, as well as across the wider Southeast Asia region by the end of the year.
Expectedly, the stakes are only going to get higher.
Grab is targeting to secure another USD 2 billion in the form of both equity and debt by end-2019. This announcement came out just a few days after Bloomberg reported of Go-Jek being crowned as Indonesia’s first and Southeast Asia’s second decacorn – startups valued at over USD 10 billion – according to data from a US market intelligence report. Although Go-Jek may not actually have earned that title just yet.
For Grab, the race to become Southeast Asia’s super app was inspired by Tencent’s WeChat and the pursuit of Go-Jek. It will be interesting to see how this pans out right here in Southeast Asia as the rush to gather more capital is gaining even more momentum. In a more cynical view express by Bloomberg opinion columnist Tim Culpan, it’s a bonfire of vanities that’s turning incresingly toxic
In addition to Grab’s aspiration to raise more money, there were two more startups, right here in Singapore that have successfully secured more funding within the same week. Mobile marketplace Carousell raised USD 56 million from global tech investor Naspers, while ShopBack, an e-commerce platform, raked in USD 45 million from the likes of EV Growth and Rakuten.
Raking in millions to fuel growth has become a norm in China, the country that welcomed 97 unicorns – startups that have a valuation of at least USD 1 billion – in 2018 alone, according to the South China Morning Post citing a Hurun report.
Luckin Coffee, for instance, is doing just that, raising more money to expand to yet another 14 Chinese cities amidst burgeoning cash burns. There are also rumors of the company’s imminent public listing.
Read on to find out more interesting stories from last week, and feel free to tip us if you have news or you just want to talk with us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we are looking forward to hearing from you.
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