Homegrown startup makes it BIG

(Aug 5): The Edge weekly in its latest edition said that Air Asia and Grab are arguably ’s best known mass consumer brands across the region.

But it added that that is where the similarity ends.

In its cover story, “Homegrown startup makes it BIG”, the Edge’s Joyce Goh wrote that Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and his co-founder Datuk Kamarudin Meranun took more than 15 years to grow AirAsia Bhd into a corporate heavyweight with a market valuation of RM11 billion today.

Add another RM1.5 billion if you include AirAsia X Bhd, she wrote.

However, the weekly said that it took Grab’s co-founders Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling just five years to get a whopping valuation of reportedly US$6 billion (RM25 billion) for the ride-hailing company, and without having made a profit yet to boot.

But the magazine explained that is the tech startup world valuation, which is largely based on market size and .

The Edge said Grab became the highest-value tech startup in Southeast Asia when it announced that it will be raising up to US$2.5 billion from its latest round of fundraising on July 24 that includes a confirmed US$2.0 billion from Japan’s Softbank and ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing.

The weekly said that at US$6.0 billion, this means that in less than a year, its value has doubled.

When it last raised US$750 million from Softbank last September, the company was reportedly valued at US$3.0 billion, said the Edge.

The weekly added that this latest exercise by Grab shows how unicorn companies like it are able to raise such jaw-dropping amounts of money without the need to go through a listing unlike traditional businesses such as AirAsia. A unicorn is a startup valued at over US$1 billion.

Grab does not provide its financials but it is a known fact that it has not made profits yet just like its rival , as they invest in growth and battle it out for dominance in Southeast Asia. Could this US$2.5 billion be the silver bullet for Grab to win?

Source: The Edge Markets

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