Alibaba Investing $3 Billion in Grab-Report

Alibaba is planning to invest $3 billion in ride-hailing giant Grab, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing anonymous sources.

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One of Bloomberg’s sources said the Chinese ecommerce giant plans to use a portion of the funds to acquire some of the Grab stock held by Uber.

Uber gave up its operations in Southeast Asia in 2018 in return for a 27.5 percent stake in Grab’s business.

Alibaba already has a sizeable investment in Lazada, one of the region’s largest ecommerce platforms. The deal with Grab will potentially grant Lazada access to a much wider network of consumers, one of the sources said. 

There has been no comment yet from Alibaba, Grab, or Uber.

The $3 billion investment is about a fifth of Grab’s last known valuation of $14 billion. Founded in Malaysia but now based in Singapore, Grab has expanded its offerings to include food delivery, financial services, and mobile payments in a bid to become a so-called “super app.”

However, it has not been spared from the effects pf the coronavirus pandemic, with its CEO Anthony Tan saying the company is facing its “single-biggest crisis.”

The company announced a five percent reduction in staff last June as it cut costs amid slower growth.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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