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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Grab plans to raise $2B more this year to fund an acquisition spree in Southeast Asia

Always be raisin’. That appears to be the motto of Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing companies Grab and Go-Jek.

Fresh from closing a near-$1.5 billion raise from SoftBank’s Vision Fund as part of a huge, multi-billion Series H deal, Grab said today that it plans to extend the round to $6.5 billion to amp up its battle with Go-Jek, which recently raised $1 billion of an ongoing Series F round.

A spokesperson for Grab told TechCrunch that the $6.5 billion will include additional money into that Series H deal, and it may include debt funding. The money announced so far this year — that $4.5 billion from the Series H — is included in that $6.5 billion goal, the Grab rep explained, so that means Grab is aiming to raise a further $5 billion in 2019 a further $2 billion in 2019. (Update: yes, it’s confusing so we’ve corrected our numbers because Grab said the $6.5 billion includes the entire Series H, some of which was announced last year, not just the portion raised in 2019.)

Grab’s Series H has already swollen to $4.5 billion, to give you an idea of its cash pile right now. Grab’s valuation is around $16 billion, according to sources, and it has raised $7.5 billion to date.

While the money will no doubt go towards ‘growth’ — and particularly to develop Grab’s ‘super app’ strategy of offering more than just rides in its app — Grab said that it plans to make “at least 6 investments or acquisitions” in Southeast Asia this year.

That acquisitive approach would be unprecedented for Southeast Asia, a region of few tech exits despite its growing potential. That is beginning to change with the rise of Grab and Go-Jek, local companies that are buying up smaller startups to add tech and expertise under that aforementioned ‘super app’ strategy, which is aimed at expanding to become the on-demand app of choice for Southeast Asia’s 600 million consumers.

But still, half a dozen deals will bring even more liquidity to Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem and help VCs turn some of their paper valuations into actual transactions and value for their funds and LPs.

Grab spent $100 million on Indonesia-based Kudo in 2017, while Go-Jek has been more acquisitive with more than half a dozen deals under its belt, including the purchase of three fintech startups in 2017 and, most recently, Philippines-based wallet Coins for $72 million.

Grab CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan put out an interesting statement that specifically notes SoftBank President Masayoshi Son’s apparently unwavering support for his business. He also dropped some shade on Go-Jek, which has only expanded beyond its home in Indonesia over the last six months, with a claim that Grab will soon be four-times bigger than its arch rival.

Here’s Tan’s statement in full:

I met Masayoshi-san last week where he gave his unlimited support to power our growth. The support from strategic investors like SoftBank and others, will allow us to grow very aggressively this year across our verticals of payments, transport and food. At our current growth rates, we expect to be four times bigger than our closest competitor in Indonesia and across the region by the end of the year. As we grow to become the leading super app in Southeast Asia, we see massive opportunities to expand our business and continue to serve our customers, driver-partners and merchants across Southeast Asia.

Acquisitions aside, there’s a lot happening within Grab. The company is mulling a move to spin out its financial services unit, with PayPal and Ant Financial among the interested parties it is talking to, as TechCrunch reported last month.

Note: The headline and text of this article have been updated to reflect that Grab plans to raise $2 billion more this year.


Source: TechCrunch

New Logitech Zone Wireless headphone is built for the open office – CNET

The new Zone Wireless and Zone Wireless Plus feature active noise-cancelling, an integrated boom microphone and wireless charging.
Source: CNET

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital makes $406M first close of new fund

B Capital, the VC firm from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, has made the first close of its second fund.

The firm has closed out $406 million in initial capital, according to a filing lodged with the FCC last month. The document doesn’t include details of a target raise or which LPs have committed. Saverin came to prominence as a co-founder of Facebook, but he has rebuilt himself as an investor with a particular focus on Asia.

B Capital is a relatively new entrant but already this new fund represents an upsized raise, even without the final close. B Capital’s first fund closed $360 million last February with consulting firm BCG a major backer from the get-go. The firm pitches itself as a bridge between the corporate world and quality startups, an area where its BCG alliance no doubt carries significant weight.

The firm is based out of Southeast Asia — where Saverin has lived since renouncing his U.S. citizenship in 2011 — but it investors globally and has a San Francisco office. Its focus covers financial services, insurance, health, industrial, transportation and “consumer enablement.” To date, B Capital has invested in 19 startups, according to its website, and those include scooter startup Bird, insurance-focused CXA — which raised $25 million last month — Indian fintech startup Mswipe — which announced a $30 million round last week — and logistics firm NinjaVan.

Saverin has also made investments via his family fund, Velos, but its involvement has tapered down since B Capital launched.


Source: TechCrunch

WWE WrestleMania 35: The Miz's dad becomes a mulleted meme – CNET

Plus: Maybe don’t ever pat Brock Lesnar on the shoulder.
Source: CNET

A new, mystery 'untitled' Marvel movie will be shot in Australia – CNET

A new Thor movie? The next Black Panther movie? Nobody knows. But a new Marvel movie will be shot in Australia.
Source: CNET

Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan hint at Rush Hour 4 – CNET

Fans are ready to get the action-comedy duo back together.
Source: CNET

The Wing poaches Snap’s comms director

Women-focused co-working space The Wing has hired Rachel Racusen as vice president of communications. Racusen has been the director of communications at Snap, the developer of Snapchat, since late 2016.

Racusen’s exit represents the latest in a series of departures at the “camera company.”

Earlier this year, the company’s chief financial officer Tim Stone stepped down. Shortly after, The Wall Street Journal reported that Snap had fired its global security head Francis Racioppi after an investigation uncovered that he had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an outside contractor. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel reportedly asked the company’s HR chief Jason Halbert to step down as a result of the investigation’s findings.

Racusen worked under Snap’s chief communications officer Julie Henderson, who had joined late last year from 21st Century Fox.

Racusen has a history in politics similar to several other executives at The Wing. Ahead of her Snap tenure, she served as the associate communications director under President Barack Obama . Before that, she was a vice president at MSNBC and the public affairs firm SKDKnickerbocker, where The Wing co-founder and chief executive officer Audrey Gelman worked prior to launching her business.

Four months after closing a $75 million Series C, The Wing is making two other key additions to its management team. The company has brought on Nickey Skarstad as vice president of product and Saumya Manohar as general counsel. Skarstad joins from Airbnb, where she was a product lead on the Airbnb Experiences team. Saumya Manohar spent the last three years as Casper’s vice president of legal.

Backed by Sequoia Capital, Upfront Ventures, NEA, Airbnb, WeWork and others, The Wing has raised more than $100 million to date.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing this group of seasoned and talented women to build out our executive team,” Gelman said in a statement. “The Wing is the perfect home for leaders who thrive on fast growth and want to combine their social values with their work practice.”


Source: TechCrunch

WWE WrestleMania 35: Live updates, results, ratings, surprises and new champions – CNET

We’re three hours deep and just getting started.
Source: CNET

WWE Wrestlemania 35: Guardians of The Galaxy's Batista just became a nose ring ripping meme – CNET

He fell into the ring, then he got his nose ring ripped out. Tough day at the office.
Source: CNET

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro first drive review: Extreme yet surprisingly approachable – Roadshow

AMG has made the ludicrous GT R into an even faster and grippier track car.
Source: CNET

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