Singapore’s Grab: Decoding the math behind its valuation

FILE PHOTO: A view of Uber and Grab offices in Singapore March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

A little over a year ago, Singapore-headquartered ride-hailing giant Grab acquired its rival Uber’s Southeast Asia operations at a fair value of $2.2 billion. In return, Uber picked up a 30 per cent stake in the ride-hailing company by acquiring Series G preferred stock.

Since then, there have been several estimates about Grab’s valuation. While market followers have often classified the ride-hailing behemoth as a ‘decacorn’, its actual valuation could not be calculated from established techniques such as discounted cash flows (DCF) and enterprise value (EV).

For the uninitiated, a decacorn refers to a privately held company with a valuation of at least $10 billion.

DEALSTREETASIA has attempted to decode the valuation of Grab for its Series G round by using a combination of specific figures obtained from the disclosures made in Uber’s S-1 filing, and assumptions based on those. It must be noted that Grab is now raising its Series H round — it has raised $4.5 billion in the round already — and its valuation has significantly gone up.

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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.