Tokyo-based PE firm J-Star has sold Itty Inc, a Japanese TV shopping business, to TV Asahi Corporation, while Grab has started next-day grocery delivery in select areas in Malaysia.
J-Star exits Japan TV shopping business
Tokyo-headquartered private equity firm J-Star has sold Itty Inc, a Japanese TV shopping business that specialises in healthy living products to TV Asahi Corporation.
According to an announcement, the firm said that it has concluded the contract to transfer all the stocks it holds in Itty. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Itty Inc. creates its own healthcare products that are sold directly to end-users on its e-commerce website. There is also a wholesale business to distribute these products to retailers. “We believe the transaction will aid Itty gain wider access to clients and realise further growth,” J-Star said in the announcement.
J-Star bought Itty in 2018 through its third Japan middle-market fund which reached a hard close at $290 million in 2017. J-Star targets mid- to small-sized Japanese companies where it focuses on controlling buyout or co-controlling buyout deals.
Grab tests next-day grocery delivery in Malaysia
Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab has pilot launched a new service called GrabSupermarket in select areas of Malaysia on Wednesday.
GrabSupermarket is Grab’s first online grocery delivery via a dark store model in Malaysia, its website showed. During the pilot, the service is available for consumers in Petaling Jaya, a satellite city near Kuala Lumpur.
Users will be able to get their orders delivered the next day, with zero delivery fee. Customers can choose from a wide selection including fresh produce, frozen food, packaged food & beverages, homecare & household products, personal health & supplements and others, its website showed.
The new service is different from GrabMart, its on-demand everyday goods delivery service which is delivered to customers within 30 minutes.
The pilot launch of the new service came after Malaysia re-imposed strict conditional movement control orders (CMCO) in most of its states until December 6, as the country tries to contain a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. Under the CMCO, most businesses are allowed to operate but with shorter operating hours and shops and restaurants will have to follow stricter standard operating procedures.
Since the pandemic hit the ride-hailing services due to stay home orders, ride-hailing firms including Grab have seen pivoting to expand delivery services for food and groceries. GrabSupermarket could tap into increased demand in grocery delivery as Malaysians are encouraged to stay home to help lower the number of infection cases. Some of Grab car drivers had started to deliver food and groceries as ride-hailing services demand declined.