Southeast Asian Digital Payments Leader Grab Set for US IPO

Southeast Asian technology group Grab is on the verge of an IPO. Grab

Softbank-backed Grab is gearing up to merge with blank-cheque vehicle in a deal that will value the technology group at about $35 billion, according to a report in The Financial Times.

According to the report, Grab, which was founded in Malaysia and is now based in Singapore, could finalise an agreement to list in New York via one of Altimeter Capital’s special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) as soon as this week. Grab’s board has already agreed to a preliminary deal.

Founded in 2012, Grab offers access to a regional consumer market of more than 655 million people across countries including Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Although it’s best-known as a ride-hailing company, for fashion and beauty retailers operating in Southeast Asia, the digital payments services of Grab and rival Gojek are becoming increasingly important.

For example, Grab’s payment affiliate, Ovo, is already accepted by major Southeast Asian e-commerce players, including online fashion platform Zalora, which stocks brands including Mango, Prada and Balenciaga and receives over 50 million visits a month.

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