Uber rival Grab to list via SPAC merger

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Grab, a South-East Asian startup backed by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, is set to list in the US through a US$35bn merger deal with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The company, which offers a range of services including ride-hailing, food delivery and payment solutions, is reported to be on the cusp of finalising a merger deal with a SPAC owned by technology investment firm Altimeter Capital, through which it is predicted to raise around US$3.7bn.

READ: Deliveroo to face more pressure as riders plan strike on Wednesday

This would be added to the US$5bn that Grab already has in its cash reserves, while the unprofitable firm also reported 70% revenue growth in 2020 as its ride-hailing business broke even.

However, the company’s predicted US$35bn market cap will also leave it well short of similar firms such as Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER), which currently holds a market cap of around US$108bn.

Grab’s listing is a key test for the South-East Asian tech sector, which is aiming to offer international investors access to the heavily populated and growing consumer markets such as Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.

It will also continue a recent flurry of tech companies listing on both the New York and London markets, with varying degrees of success.

One of the more high-profile flops has been food delivery app Deliveroo Holdings PLC (LON:ROO), which has seen its share price tumble from its 390p IPO price to around 286.3p in lunchtime trading on Wednesday.

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