Issue 11
 

Grab says has invested over $100m in Vietnam ops


Grab has so far invested over $100 million in its Vietnam operations, the ride-hailing company said in a letter to the country’s Prime Minister last month. 

Its missive to the government was sent in response to a proposed regulation that seeks to classify ride-hailing firms as transportation firms. Grab has advocated that ride-hailing companies be treated as booking service providers under transportation support services. It has cited similar regulations in the US and the Asia Pacific to support its contention. 

Grab was sued by Vietnam taxi operator Vinasun for causing it business losses of around $1.8 million. Late last year, the Ho Chi Minh City Court ruled that the ride-hailing firm was a transportation company — and should be treated like other taxi companies — and asked it to pay $200,000 as compensation to Vinasun. The People’s Procuracy of Ho Chi Minh City recently asked for the court’s judgment to be rescinded. Grab and Vinasun are now expected to face off in the appeals court. 

After investing more than $100 million in Vietnam, Grab said it had about 175,000 local car and bike drivers on its platform. Its competitors in the market include GOJEK as well as local startups Be and FastGo. Last year, GOJEK said it would spend $500 million on expansion in Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

 

From – Deal Street Asia

 

Grab secures US$1.46 billion investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund


Grab Holdings Inc. (“Grab”), Southeast Asia’s leading super app, today announced it has secured US$1.46 billion of fresh funding from the Softbank Vision Fund (“SVF”). This capital injection from SVF brings the total financing secured in Grab’s current Series H round to over US$4.5 billion. Other investors in this round include Toyota Motor Corporation, Oppenheimer Funds, Hyundai Motor Group, Booking Holdings, Microsoft Corporation, Ping An Capital, and Yamaha Motor. 

Anthony Tan, Grab’s Co-Founder and CEO said, “SoftBank and the Vision Fund are long-standing strategic investors and we are grateful for their continued support. The investment is a clear statement of belief in our vision to grow Southeast Asia’s technology ecosystem as the region’s Number 1 super app. Looking ahead, we aim to continue improving the lives of many millions of Southeast Asians by providing enhanced income opportunities through our platform, and giving our users more choice and convenience.” 

David Thevenon, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said: “We have been working alongside Grab for a number of years and are privileged to support the evolution of its user-driven technologies. This investment will help the company explore exciting new opportunities across on-demand mobility, delivery and financial services as it continues to grow its offline-to-online platform across Southeast Asia.” 

Ming Maa, Grab’s President said, “We have been blessed with overwhelming shareholder support in our current fundraising round, with strong interest both in terms of capital invested and the quality of strategic partners seeking to support the continued development of Grab. We continue to receive new investor interest and look forward to welcoming more global industry leaders as partners in 2019.” 

Grab intends to use the funds to advance its super app vision in Southeast Asia, with the aim of bringing more every day services, greater accessibility and convenience to users. Grab plans to expand its verticals such as financial services, food delivery, parcel delivery, content and digital payments, and roll out new services announced in 2018. Built on Grab’s open platform, GrabPlatform, these services include on-demand video, in partnership with HOOQ; digital healthcare, in partnership with Ping An Good Doctor; insurance, in partnership with ZhongAn International; and hotel bookings, in partnership with Booking Holdings. 

In particular, Grab plans to invest a significant portion of fresh proceeds in Indonesia, where it is the leader in on-demand transport with 60 percent of the two-wheel market and 70 percent of the four-wheel market. Grab’s Indonesian business is expanding rapidly, with revenue more than doubling in 2018. Grab will use the fresh capital to boost the expansion of GrabFood and GrabExpress and roll out new verticals in the country. Grab is part of the largest digital payments ecosystem in Indonesia through its partnership with OVO and Tokopedia. GrabFood is growing rapidly in Indonesia, operating in 178 Indonesian cities from 13 at the start of last year, with delivery volumes growing almost 10 times in 2018. In January 2019, GrabFood was the second largest food delivery service provider in Indonesia, with 44 percent of respondents saying it was the food delivery service they used most often, up from 25 percent in April 2018, according to Kantar, a third-party research firm. 

On a group level, Grab’s transport business has grown robustly since the merger with Uber in Southeast Asia, almost doubling its revenue from March 2018 to December 2018. GrabFood’s revenue grew 45 times in that time period. GrabFood, the only regional food delivery player, is present in six countries across 199 cities. In 2018, Grab Financial Group became the only platform to have access to e-money licenses across six of the largest Southeast Asian economies. Since its launch in March 2018, Grab Financial Group has seen its monthly transactions grow by almost five times to December 2018. In the same period, GrabExpress also increased instant and same-day delivery volumes by more than three times regionally, and is now available in 150 cities. 

The past year has seen a significant expansion of the Grab ecosystem through partnerships with global industry leaders such as Toyota, Hyundai, Microsoft and Mastercard. Grab also inked partnerships with national champions and regional industry leaders like Thailand’s Central Group and Kasikornbank, Indonesia’s OVO, Bank BTN and Bank Mandiri, Singapore’s United Overseas Bank, Philippines’ SM Investment Corporation, Vietnam’s Moca and Malaysia’s Maybank, amongst others.

 
From – Grab
 


Southeast Asian VC Maloekoe Ventures eyes $100m corpus for next fund

Southeast Asian venture capital firm Maloekoe Ventures is targeting a corpus of around $100 million for its next fund, which it will launch at the end of this year, according to co-founder and managing partner Adrien Gheur. 

The fund, which is expected to be closed by the second quarter of next year, will continue to follow the firm’s investment thesis of providing founders with strategic capital and deep market access to the world’s fastest growing digital economy. 

It will also look to work with more strategic and prominent LPs, something that has been a major feature in its previous fund. “We are unique in the depth and breadth of our LP base and this will grow even bigger in our next fund,” Gheur said. 

Along with Gheur, Maloekoe was founded in 2015 by several prominent Indonesian businessmen including Harun Hajadi, CEO of property conglomerate Ciputra Group; George Tahija, Board of Commissioner member and former President Director of plantation giant Austindo Nusantara Jaya; and Jimmy Masrin, President Director and CEO of Caturkarsa Megatunggal, a holding company with business in chemicals, mining, fuel distribution and logistics. 

Having initially invested from capital pooled by its founding partners to solve some of the biggest pain points they had faced in their own businesses, Maloekoe now deploys from a venture fund raised from external LPs. Its current fund was closed in August 2018 after raising an undisclosed amount. 

Its list of LPs for the fund include the family offices of Ciputra Group, Austindo Nusantara Jaya, Lautan Luas (a subsidiary of Caturkarsa Megatunggal) and Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp, which has a seat on Maloekoe’s strategic advisory board. The VC firm says it is also backed by other leading family offices in Indonesia, Philippines and Europe. 

Gheur explained that all of the firm’s LPs have co-investment rights in all of its deals, which allows them to invest over and above Maloekoe in the deals that may be strategic to their respective business. “A big reason why some of the LPs invested in our fund is because they want us to find the innovation that they need for their businesses. 

We find the deals, and if there is something that is very strategic to them, then they might get more into it.” Despite the strategic nature of its fund and investments, Maloekoe says that it does not operate like a corporate VC. It sees itself as a hybrid of both corporate and financial VCs and is very focused on returns and exits. Its LPs provides founders with access to a deep industry network, which Gheur says is one of the value-adds offered by Maloekoe. 

Another additional value the firm gives beyond capital is its “hustle hard” approach, which sees it spending a lot of time travelling and sitting in meetings with founders to help in all aspects of their business. Maloekoe, which has offices in Singapore and Jakarta, has a portfolio of just over a dozen companies, which includes video-on-demand company iflix, IoT startup E-fishery and micro-mobility company Beam. 

Most recently, the firm invested in social media startup The Shonet. While Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia are Maloekoe’s main focus markets, Gheur said the firm keeps an eye out for interesting opportunities outside of the region. 

Last year, for example, the firm joined the Series A round for US-based AI biometric startups Element. “We invest locally, regionally and globally – depending on where we find the innovation that our markets need. Where it’s not being built locally, we source in the other innovation hubs around the world and bring it to our markets,” he said. 

The VC, which cuts ticket sizes ranging from $100,000 to $2.5 million for seed to Series B investments, describes itself as sector-agnostic. It claims that unlike many VCs, it adopts a contrarian approach, with a tendency to move away from “hot sectors” or crowded deals. 

“We find there’s a lot of herd behaviour in the local VC investing scene and take our time in assessing each deal, not based on who’s investing in it, but the execution ability of the founder team and the unique approach they’re taking,” Gheur said. Maloekoe is currently investing out of its first fund and has deployed just over half of the fund. 

This year, Gheur said the firm will be looking to make up to seven more investments in the region, while also starting its work towards potential exits of its earlier investments. “Most likely we will start seeing exits this year and next, but we’ve started doing the groundwork now,” he said.

From – Deal Street Asia
 


Beacon VC leads seed round for Thai property management platform Horganice

Beacon VC, the corporate venture capital arm of Kasikornbank, has led a seed financing round in Thai rental properties management platform Horganice, according to its official announcement on Tuesday. 

The undisclosed funding round will enable Horganice to accelerate customer acquisition as well as adding new services to digitize rental properties. 

“Apart from receiving the funding, Horganice will have an opportunity to collaborate with KBank in order to acquire new customers and leverage innovative financial services such as payment systems to provide fast, efficient and convenient product offerings to its customers,” said Beacon VC managing director Thanapong Na Ranong. 

Horganice, established in 2015, offers both smart property management software and hardware-based automation products that reduce management costs and allow dormitory owners to run their business efficiently. Targeting those who live outside Bangkok, Horganice currently serves around 3,000 properties with over 130,000 rooms across every province in Thailand. 

“Our mission is to bring property management in Thailand into the new digital era and enable a carefree life for both owners and tenants alike,” said Horganice CEO and co-founder Tanawit Tonekunya. 

THorganice marks the seventh direct investment and the first seed round investment of Beacon VC. Beacon VC has a fund size of $135 million and has invested in Thai fintech startup FlowAccount, ride-hailing unicorn Grab, cross-border payment firm InstaReM and Thai wealthtech company Jitta.

 
From – Deal Street Asia
 


Spain’s Enagas to partner with Blackstone, GIC for $590m Tallgrass deal

Spain’s Enagas will pay, as part of a consortium deal, $590 million for a 10.93 percent indirect ownership interest in U.S. energy infrastructure company Tallgrass Energy (TGE), the company said in a statement on Monday. 

Enagas will partner with affiliates of U.S. investment firm Blackstone and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC on the deal for a stake in Tallgrass Energy, a U.S. energy infrastructure company which owns several interstate pipelines. 

Blackstone will retain a majority, GIC will retain a minority stake and Enagas will own almost 25 percent of the holding company at closing, the Spanish energy company said in the statement. 

Enagas has also agreed, following the closing, to acquire an additional 3.5 percent of the holding company for approximately $83 million, subject to the completion of conditions, the company said.

From – Deal Street Asia
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