Asia’s Super App Grab is Going Public. Here's What You Need to Know

Grab is the first super-app company to hit U.S. public markets. How will investors value its stock? Like Uber and Doordash, or like PayPal? And will they care it's losing gobs of money? I'm itching to find out.

Grab is the largest technology company in South East Asia. It serves Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The combined population of those eight countries is 658 million. It will trade under the ticker $GRAB.

What Grab does

Grab has three business lines:

  • Delivery—Delivers restaurant food, groceries, and packages.
  • Mobility—It also offers ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.
  • Financial services—Payments, insurance, and investments.

Brad Gerstner, CEO of Altimeter Capital, said to think of Grab as Uber, DoorDash, and Ant Financial all rolled up into one company.

Q3 business highlights

These are consolidated numbers from all three business units (delivery, mobility, and financial services).

Grab tracks three metrics to measure the health of its business.

  • GMV (gross merchandise volume)—$4.0 billion+. Grew 32% YoY.
  • GMV per monthly transacting user (GMV divided by the number of monthly transacting users.)—$183. Grew 43% YoY.
  • Gross billings (transaction fees Grab earns)—$616 million. Grew 41% YoY.

Q3 financial highlights

These are consolidated numbers from all three of its business units.

  • Revenue—$157 million. Down 9% YoY.
  • Net loss—$988 million. 24% higher than the same period in 2020.

Here’s its Q3 2021 investor presentation if you want to dive deeper.

Grab’s competitors

Its biggest competitor in ride-hailing was Uber. But it bought Uber’s operations in 2018 and gave Uber a 27.5% stake in its business.

Today, its biggest competitor is Gojek, an Indonesian-based app founded by a friend of Grab’s founder, Anthony Tan, and backed by Google, Facebook, and Tencent.

Conclusion

We don’t have companies like Grab in the U.S. We have all the services it offers; they’re just separate companies.

Additional reading

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