Grab goes public in the largest SPAC merger ever as super apps take over Asia
Grab a taxi… or a taco. Singapore-based Grab as a ride-hailing platform, but it’s now one of Asia’s largest super apps. Think: Uber, DoorDash , Venmo, Expedia Netflix Amazon all in one app. The decade-old company has 187M users in eight countries — nearly double Uber’s users. Yesterday, the super app became a super SPAC.
- Grab went public on the Nasdaq through a SPAC merger that valued it at nearly $40B — the largest SPAC deal on record. But shares closed down 21% on day one.
- The #s: Grab’s loss grew to nearly $1B last quarter and sales fell 9% as Covid surges in Southeast Asia hit its ride-hail biz.
Can’t color-coordinate your home screen…when you have just one app. Grab users can manage their entire lives in-app: from ordering groceries to booking resort vacays, to applying for loans and health insurance, and even streaming rom-coms.
- “Everything apps” like Grab are super popular in Asia, with Chinese powerhouses like WeChat, Alipay, and Alibaba touting billions of users. That’s partly because slower broadband connections discourage people from clogging their phone with multiple apps.
- American companies have been dipping into super-app territory. Think: Uber doing food delivery and Facebook integrating payments and shopping. But they’re way less super.
Super apps aren’t just staying abroad….American companies have been dipping into super-app territory. Think: Uber doing “delivery everything” and Facebook integrating payments, gaming, and shopping. All-in-one platforms are super convenient for users, but that comes at a cost: bigger privacy and regulatory concerns. As antitrust scrutiny heats up, becoming more super could get harder for US tech titans.