Sources: Grab in talks with Prudential, AIA for FinTech investment


Southeast Asia’s Grab is in advanced talks with Prudential, AIA Group and others since it seeks $300 million to $500 million in investment because of its financial services unit, individuals with direct knowledge of this matter told journalists.

Grab, which evolved out of ride-hailing app operator to one-stop store for solutions as diverse as meals delivery and insurance, aims to achieve agreements as early as October, the people said.

Insurers will likely give half of the target spread within a couple of fundraising rounds, said among the people, who declined to be identified as prospective investors have yet to be made public. Prudential and AIA are named here for the first time.

They said Grab Financial Group’s pre-money valuation – that the worth of an unlisted startup before its next financing round – has been estimated at roughly $2 billion.

Catch, Prudential and AIA declined to comment.

The fundraising, coming since the coronavirus pandemic decimates the international economic outlook, underscores the possibility of technology-led financial services because the majority of retail trades go digital.

Additionally, it suggests the pandemic’s limited impact on fundraising efforts for Southeast Asia’s most precious startup – value $14 billion, sources have said – even though its business in eight countries has suffered from coronavirus control steps.

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At Grab and Indonesian rival Gojek, lockdowns have savaged the transportation business but have sparked a boom in food delivery.

Backing from Prudential and AIA would add heft to Grab’s financial services ambitions, which extend beyond expanding its insurance and lending companies and to the domain of wealth management.

“Finalising new funding during these times could also help Grab in its sales pitch for the Singapore banking licence,” stated one of those people.

Last year, it employed for an online banking permit with Singapore Telecommunications. The fiscal motif continued in February when Grab raised about $850 million from investors including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.

For Asia-focused carriers Prudential and AIA, investing in Grab Financial Group will allow them to explore using its technologies and data to market goods, said one of the people. It wasn’t clear how much every insurer planned to invest.

Catch, which counts Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Group among its shareholders, has stated its flagship app has clocked 198 million downloads.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘Sources: Grab in talks with Prudential, AIA for FinTech investment‘ article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Anshuman Daga and Sumeet Chatterjee. Editing by Christopher Cushing.

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