Grab, SEA’s first ‘decacorn’, has mopped up 25% of investments in the region’s internet economy since 2015: Google-Temasek report

The Southeast Asian ride-hailing company has been upgraded from unicorn to decacorn status, according to a report published by Google and Temasek on the ride-hailing economy in Southeast Asia.
Reuters
  • The internet economy in Southeast Asia has scored over US$24b worth of investment since 2015, according to a report published by Google and Temasek.

  • Ride-hailing app Grab scored the most funding out of any company – US$6 billion – and is now the region’s first ‘decacorn’.

  • The ride-hailing economy in Southeast Asia is expected to be worth US$28 billion by 2025.

  • Food delivery and online payment will likely be the next big battleground for ride-hailing apps

Grab’s now playing in the big leagues.

The Southeast Asian ride-hailing company has been upgraded from unicorn to decacorn status, according to a report published on Monday (Nov 19) by Google and Temasek.

Unicorns are companies valued at over US$1 billion (S$1.37 billion, RM4.19 billion), while decacorns are worth over US$10 billion.

There are fewer than 20 privately-held companies in the world with decacorn status, according to the report, which analysed the internet economy and ride-hailing market in Southeast Asia.

It added that Southeast Asia’s internet economy “experienced a dramatic surge in fundraising over the last four years”, accumulating a total investment of US$24 billion.

e-Conomy SEA 2018

Of this US$24 billion, well over half (US$16 billion) went to Southeast Asia’s eight internet unicorns (Bukalapak, Go-Jek, Lazada, Razer, Sea Group, Traveloka, Tokopedia, VNG) and decacorn (Grab).

Grab scored the “lion’s share” of these investments – over US$6 billion, or one-quarter of all regional funding since 2015.

Responding to queries from Business Insider, a Grab spokesman said that the company had raised US$2.7 billion to date in its current round of fundraising, and was “on track” to raise over US$3 billion by the end of the year.

“We will use these investments to further Grab’s vision to be Southeast Asia’s leading everyday super app, expand our fast-growing food delivery, payments and financial services businesses, as well as continue our investment in Indonesia,” she added.

According to Google and Temasek’s report, the ride-hailing sector has attracted over US$10 billion worth of investments in the last three years. The report predicted that the sector’s worth would reach US$28 billion by 2025.

e-Conomy SEA 2018

According to the report, there were 35 million active users of ride-hailing apps in 2018, and an average of 8 million rides per day – four times more than in 2015.

Indonesia – home to Go-Jek – was the largest and fastest growing market for this sector out of all the Southeast Asian countries, with a value of US$3.7 billion in 2018. Of this, over US$1 billion came from the “explosive” growth of GoFood, Go-Jek’s food delivery service.

The report predicted that online food delivery would be the “next battleground” for ride-hailing players aiming to become “super apps”, adding that companies like Grab and Go-Jek were leveraging their well-known brand names and larger user bases against food delivery companies like Deliveroo and Foodpanda.

According to the report, another emerging area of competition was in the “largely untapped” online financial services market, with some ride-hailing apps already offering digital wallets. They might then expand into money transfers, personal lending, investment and insurance services to win consumer preference.

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