MASTERCLASSING

Grab in talks over spinning out financial services unit, plans to add thousands of jobs

Tyrone Stewart

GrabGrab is reportedly in having discussions with both Alibaba’s Ant Financial and PayPal over spinning out its financial services unit, as it also looks to double its staff in Singapore.

Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing firm, which acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia business last year, is looking to double down on its non-transportation business, according to TechCrunch. As such, it is in early talks with Ant Financial and PayPal over potential strategic investments – though Ant Financial denies any dialogue between the two companies.

The company is facing an increasing challenge in Southeast Asia from Go-Jek, which has been slowly growing its valuation with backing from the likes of Google, Tencent, and JD.com, while expanding to other markets around Southeast Asia.

Grab recently received a hefty $1.46bn cash injection from SoftBank’s Vision Fund as part of its Series H funding round of more than $4.5bn. This round has also included investment from Toyota Motor Corporation, Oppenheimer Funds, Hyundai Motor Group, Booking Holdings, Microsoft Corporation, Ping An Capital, and Yamaha Motor.

While Grab looks to the idea of spinning out its financial services business, Bloomberg reports that the company also plans to double its staff in Singapore to 3,000 by the time it moves into its new headquarters in the market next year.

It will also add 1,000 technology jobs across its research and development sites in Bangalore, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Seattle and Singapore.