Budget carrier AirAsia mulls capital raising for digital business

REUTERS/Beawiharta

Malaysia’s flagship budget airline AirAsia Group Bhd said on Thursday it is considering raising capital to expand its digital business.

Without giving any figures, Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said in a briefing that the group could take an investment to help speed up growth, but would not need to raise a huge sum.

“We are not here to raise billions and spend it all. We just started the process but we don’t need a lot. We’ve built this on our own capital so far,” he said.

He said there was already some debt capital secured for a few of its digital units, including logistics unit Teleport, fast food business Santan and agriculture e-commerce platform OurFarm.

AirAsia has rebranded its digital arm as AirAsia Digital, which also houses travel and lifestyle platform AirAsia.com and fintech unit BigPay.

Executive Chairman Kamarudin Meranun said the digital business could provide some support for the group to weather the coronavirus pandemic that has hit its airline business as borders remained shut for months.

“In the short term, I don’t think anything can compensate (the shortfall in earnings). For the short term, it provides some cushion…enough for us to survive,” Kamarudin said.

While Teleport made profits in the January-March period, the group’s following second-quarter results last month showed that all the digital businesses recorded losses.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.