From Segambut to New York: Grab celebrates listing milestone

By BERNAMA

Southeast Asia’s leading super-app Grab Holdings Ltd, with the ticker “GRAB”, celebrated its milestone US public listing on Thursday with Nasdaq’s first-ever opening bell ceremony hosted in the region.

The ceremony held in Singapore, which was attended by Grab employees as well as driver-, delivery- and merchant-partners, came after the nine-year-old ride-hailing and delivery firm announced its US$40 billion (about RM169.2 billion) merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The firm had in April this year merged with a US tech investor Altimeter Capital Management’s SPAC, Altimeter Growth Corp, and raised US$4.5 billion (US$1=RM4.23), including US$750 million from Altimeter.

In his speech, Nasdaq chairman of Asia-Pacific Bob McCooey said this was the largest-ever US public listing by a Southeast Asian company.

“I can see why Grab has grown into a household name and the number one super-app in Southeast Asia. Having spent the last few days in Singapore, I’ve tried booking a ride, ordering food delivery, and paying with GrabPay. I’m liking this one-app-for-all experience!

“More importantly, I respect companies like Grab that empower people, and I’m glad to meet with Grab’s drivers and merchants who are here today as examples of how technology can be used to grow businesses and earning opportunities,” he said.

McCooey said that today’s milestone is a testament to the hard work of everyone at Grab and for their passion to innovate and lead greater digital opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, Grab group chief executive officer and co-founder Anthony Tan said it is important for the ride-hailing and delivery firm not to lose sight of what this was all built on — “the heart and hard work of our Grabbers to serve our partners, and in turn, the dedication of our partners towards serving their customers.”

“That’s why we chose to hold the ceremony close to home. To be here, amongst our community, sharing the moment with them as we cross the threshold into a new chapter of our journey,” he said during the ceremony.

Tan and his co-founder Tan Hooi Ling (not related) were joined onstage during the opening bell by representatives of the Grab driver-, delivery- and merchant-partner communities, who were on the frontlines transporting people, preparing as well as delivering food and essential goods, especially during critical stay-home pandemic periods.

In recognition of the collective effort and continued partnership of the Grab community to reach this milestone, about 1,500 Grab employees, as well as representatives from Grab’s partner communities, from across Southeast Asia were featured on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square, New York City, after Grab officially listed on Nasdaq.

From its first office based in Segambut here, Grab’s Nasdaq listing has set a high benchmark for startups in the Southeast Asia.

In a statement, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Rafiza Ghazali said being the Malaysian government funding agency that backed GRAB (previously known as MyTeksi) in its early years, it is proud to witness Grab being the first of its alumni to reach the global stage.

“GRAB’s commitment and success is an entrepreneurship story that should be told to everyone. Your journey is an inspiring story, for Malaysian high-calibre technology-based startups to scale and grow globally. We believe your success will inspire the rest to think big and continue to be a role model to the rest of the startups in Malaysia.

“Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, and working together will bring more success.

“We look forward to continuing to create and build on an ecosystem that supports a strong and innovative business-building environment for technology entrepreneurs and innovators, in line with our credo, ‘Creating Leading Startups!’,” she said.

Founded in 2012 with the mission to drive Southeast Asia forward by creating economic empowerment for everyone, the Grab app has since been downloaded onto millions of mobile devices.

Today, it operates across the deliveries, mobility and digital financial services sectors in over 400 cities in eight countries in the Southeast Asia region — Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Grab enables millions of people to access its driver- and merchant-partners to order food or groceries, send packages, hail a ride or taxi, pay for online purchases or access services such as lending, insurance, wealth management and telemedicine, all through a single “everyday everything” app.

Grab shares traded between US$8.13 and US$13.29 on its first day of trading. The counter closed unchanged at US$8.75, down 20.5 per cent, with 35.71 million shares changing hands.