Southeast Asian Ride-Hailing Giant Grab Weighs US IPO Through SPAC Merger

March 11, 2021 0:51 am

Beijing (PingWest)—Southeast Asian ride-hailing and delivery giant Grab is seeking to go public in the US through a merger with special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC), Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley are working with the startup to identify SPACs that it could combine with, the people said. 

A SPAC is a shell company that raises money through an IPO to merge with another firm, allowing that business to list more quickly.

Grab, based in Singapore, counts SoftBank and Microsoft among its investors. According to Crunchbase, the company has completed 33 rounds of financing and raised $12 billion since its inception in 2012.

The popularity of SPAC is rising among Southeast Asian startups. According to Bloomberg's report in last month, Gojek is near to close the merger deal with local e-commerce platform Tokopedia. The merged company, which could be valued between $35 billion and $40 billion, will also seek an IPO, and SPAC is also an option for it.

Traveloka, the Indonesian online travel platform, is evaluating SPAC merger as a possible option to go public, Reuters reported last month.

Bridgetown Holdings, backed by Asian tycoon Richard Li, Provident Acquisition, and Cova Acquisition are contenders for Traveloka, with a potential valuation of up to $5 billion for the startup, Reuters reported, citing the source. 

According to SPAC research, SPACs, which have mostly listed in the US, brought in a record $83.4 billion through IPOs last year.