Southeast Asia’s unicorns are now supposedly worth US$57 billion after the recent addition of four new companies to the exclusive club, but how realistic that figure is remains to be seen.Singapore’s Bigo Tech (streaming and social media), Trax (image-recognition), ONE Championship (media and sports) and Zilingo (e-commerce) all passed the US$1 billion valuation mark between September 2018 and September 2019, making for a total of 14 unicorns in the region according to a report released last
Ever since Grab bought over Uber’s Southeast Asia-based business last March, social media has been abuzz with complaints against the ride-hailing giant. Complaints about Grab are mostly related to sudden hikes in fare prices after a deal which saw US-based Uber Technologies sell its Southeast Asia business for a 27.5 percent stake in Grab.
A previous article published by The ASEAN Post on ride-hailing ended with the lingering question on whether some taxi drivers are refusing to change their attitudes even after facing tough competition from ride-hailing services.
On 26 March 2018, GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. (Grab), a technology company that offers ride-hailing, ride sharing, food delivery and logistics services through its mobile app in Southeast Asia; announced that it had acquired its competitor’s (Uber) Southeast Asia operations.
When pioneer of the ride-hailing business, Uber announced that it will exit the Southeast Asian market, consumers feared that this would effectively mean a Grab monopoly in the market. However, ever since Uber’s exit, many new startups have entered the ride-hailing business looking to fill the gap left by Uber. Throughout the region, new ride-hailing apps are mushrooming.
Ever since Uber sold its Southeast Asia-based businesses to rival Grab, social media has been abuzz with complaints against Grab. Complaints against the ride-hailing company were mostly about how fare prices have gone up since the merger. Many are saying that since Grab has now established a monopoly over ride-hailing in the region, it is engaging in price-gouging tactics.
Last week, Uber finally announced to nobody’s surprise that their Southeast Asian operations would be sold off to their biggest rival, ride-hailing giants, Grab. As part of the deal, Uber would get a 27.5% stake in Grab and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dara Khosrowshahi will be given a seat on Grab’s board of directors. The announcement comes after months of speculation and rumours of the takeover.
The spectacular battle for dominance in the region’s ride-hailing market was put to bed a few days ago when Grab took over Uber’s Southeast Asian operations.
The wait is finally over. After weeks of speculation that Uber’s Southeast Asia’s operations would be sold off to Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab, the deal – the largest of its kind in the region – was officially announced earlier today.According to the media release from Grab, Uber’s ridesharing and food delivery business (UberEats) will be integrated into its existing multi-modal transportation and fintech platform.
The news of an impending acquisition by Grab of Uber's Southeast Asian business is now drawing the scrutiny of Southeast Asian regulators. Their concern is that a monopoly on ride-hailing services would hurt instead of benefit consumers in the long run. According to reporting by the Wall Street Journal, Uber is said to have agreed to sell most of its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, in exchange for between 20-30% of Grab’s equity.
The competition between ride-hailing apps in the region could slowly become a one horse-race as the tech world has been rocked with rumours of Uber exiting the region. The speculation began after Japan’s SoftBank made a US$1.25 billion investment in Uber that effectively made them the company’s largest shareholder.