The Singaporean startup is set to go public on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in New York on Thursday after raising $4.5 billion in a deal valued at nearly $40 billion.
The deal, which involves a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, is the largest of its kind ever, according to data provider Dealogic. It is also the largest market in the United States by a company from Southeast Asia. The previous record was held by the Indonesian satellite company, which raised nearly $1.2 billion in 1994, according to data from Refinitiv.
Celebrations won’t be limited to New York: Co-founders Anthony Tan and Hui Ling Tan will ring the opening bell of the Singapore Stock Exchange Thursday night at a gala that includes Grab drivers and dealers.
In recent years, the company has presented itself as a “premium app,” allowing users to do everything from booking flights to getting insurance and loans. More than 25 million people use the app each month to make a transaction, across 465 cities in eight countries.
In an interview Thursday, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oye said the company will use the proceeds from the listing to double the existing rules of the game.
“We’re just getting started in Southeast Asia,” he told CNN Business.
Uwe argues that there is still a “huge opportunity” to grow the company’s core business at home. He said grocery delivery services in the area are still in their infancy. Meanwhile, horse riding in the region is much less well established than in China, he added.
Oe also did not rule out the possibility of more mergers and acquisitions, noting that “strategic opportunities will emerge.”
SPACs are shell companies with limited or no operating assets. It is usually offered to go public only to raise money from investors which is then used to purchase an existing business.
Grab previously said it chose to go public in the United States, rather than Southeast Asia, because it wanted to tap a larger investor base.
But Oe said on Thursday that the company would not rule out the possibility of listing on another exchange at some point. “We are open to Southeast Asia and other opportunities,” he added.
However, the CEO emphasized that the company would take one step at a time.
“For us it is now [about] “We make sure we get the business done and stay focused, supporting the shareholders that are with us,” said Oy.