Grab confirms mulling spin off of payments and financial units

Ride-hailing and payments major Grab is considering spinning off its payments and financial services businesses in a bid to operate the divisions independently, its executives confirmed to the Financial Times.

The company, the report said, may raise capital for the two business units separately with a view to spinning off one or both of them at a later date.

Anthony Tan, CEO of Grab, told Financial Times that the company has been approached by several financial and strategic investors.

“We see food as a big growth driver for us as well. We expect our food delivery business to be four times larger than any other player regionally by the end of the year,” Tan told the newspaper.

DEALSTREETASIA had earlier reported that Grab was in talks with Alibaba’s Ant Financial to raise funding for its financial services unit instead of the main holding company.

In March, TechCrunch had reported that Grab was considering spinning off its financial services unit and was in talks with US online payments company Paypal, along with Ant Financial, for the same.

If the spin-off is successful, it will mirror a similar development undertaken by Alibaba. The Chinese e-commerce behemoth spun out Alipay and Ant Financial, its payment and financial services arms, respectively, in 2014.

The confirmation to FT, along with a previous announcement about its plans to raise an additional $2 billion in funding this year, could be seen as the company flexing its muscles while competitor GOJEK seeks to close a $2-billion round.

Grab president Ming Maa has previously attributed the company’s expanding fundraising goal to “unlimited support” from Masayoshi Son and his SoftBank Vision Fund, which have pledged support for the Southeast Asian decacorn. Son is known to throw insane amounts of cash at startups to run their competitors to the ground.

Grab has been accumulating a raft of investors to its cap table of late, including names like Toyota Motor Corporation, Oppenheimer Funds, Hyundai Motor Group, Booking Holdings, Microsoft Corporation, Ping An Capital and Yamaha Motor.

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Grab to raise additional $2b in funding this year, SoftBank to top up

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