Grab made waves earlier this week after confirming its intention to go public in the United States in partnership with Altimeter Growth Corp.
This partnership is the biggest blank-cheque company deal on record, and the proposed transaction will give Grab a market value of about US$39.6 billion (S$53.1 billion).
According to Grab, the merger with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is expected to provide them with up to US$4.5 billion in cash proceeds.
The combined company expects its stock to be traded on Nasdaq in the coming months.
Following this news, Reuters reported today that Grab is in the early stages of considering a secondary listing in Singapore, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
They added that this potential listing on the Singapore Exchange would allow Grab to have an investor base close to where its regional business is based. This will enable customers, drivers and merchant partners easier access to trade its shares.
Grab Is Shaking Up SEA’s Economy
Regardless of whether this secondary listing in Singapore will come to fruition, the US listing has already marked a new chapter for Southeast Asia (SEA)’s economy, and in particular its startup ecosystem.
It will widen the door for various international investors to tap into one of the world’s fastest-growing internet markets. It may also help other regional unicorns follow suit as SEA challenges the U.S. and China’s dominance in the tech scene.
So far, the only notable publicly listed Internet company from the region is Sea, a Singapore-headquartered and New York-listed online gaming and e-commerce company. Its stock price rose nearly fivefold last year, showing the huge appetite of investors for high-growth tech companies in the region.
For now, Grab — which has said its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) will not turn profitable until 2023 — has to show that it can justify its US$39.6 billion valuation, which is nearly twice Google’s value at the time of its initial public offering, when the U.S. search giant was already profitable.
In a public statement, Grab shared that its decision to become a public company was driven by strong financial performance in 2020, despite COVID-19. At the same time, the company has made significant strides towards profitability, with a key focus on building a resilient business and delivering sustainable growth.
“As we become a publicly-traded company, we’ll work even harder to create economic empowerment for our communities, because when Southeast Asia succeeds, Grab succeeds,” said Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan.
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