Grab Suffers Hours-Long App Outage Ahead of Landmark SPAC Debut


Grab Holdings Inc., Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing and delivery giant, malfunctioned for hours across much of the region on Tuesday, an embarrassing outage that comes just before the startup is slated to go public in one of the largest SPAC mergers.

Though Grab said late in the day that it had restored “core services,” users in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines were still reporting problems using the app as of Tuesday evening. Disruptions emerged early Tuesday morning.

“We experienced a service disruption this morning that impacted a number of partners and users across the region,” Grab said in a statement. “While core services were restored by late morning, some people have reported intermittent issues since then. We are working hard to address these issues and apologize to all affected users for the inconvenience.”

The Singapore-based company is preparing to merge with Altimeter Growth Corp., the U.S. special purpose acquisition company of Brad Gerstner’s Altimeter Capital Management. Grab has postponed the $40 billion deal — announced in April and one of the largest-ever mergers with a SPAC — to the fourth quarter as it works on an audit of the past three years’ accounts. The company reiterated last week it expects the deal to complete this quarter.

Grab operates ride-hailing, delivery, and digital financial services in more than 400 cities in eight countries in Southeast Asia. It is the dominant player in the region of about 650 million people, though competition is intensifying from rivals such as Gojek, which merged with e-commerce company PT Tokopedia to bulk up. Grab is also competing against Delivery Hero SE’s Foodpanda and Deliveroo Plc as well as new entrants such as AirAsia Group Bhd. in the region.

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