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Asian ride-share app Grab set for record $40B debut on Wall Street

A sign for Wall Street is seen Monday outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A sign for Wall Street is seen Monday outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

April 13 (UPI) -- Singapore ride-hailing startup Grab announced on Tuesday that it plans to go public with the help of a special-purpose acquisition company that would value the company at about $40 billion.

The special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, would be backed by U.S. investment firm Altimeter Capital and could become the largest equity offering by a Southeast Asian company in the United States, according to Grab.

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A $40 billion debut would be far larger than the previous SPAC record-holder, mortgage provider United Wholesale Mortgage, which saw an $18 billion initial public offering last fall.

Grab describes itself as a "super app" that offers services "across mobility, deliveries, financial services and more."

Grab said it expects to raise more than $4 billion in cash from investors while Altimeter Capital is putting up $750 million in connection with the move to go public in the coming months. It plans to be listed on the Nasdaq composite under the ticker symbol GRAB.

"This is a milestone in our journey to open up access for everyone to benefit from the digital economy," Grab CEO Anthony Tan said in a statement. "This is even more critical as our region recovers from COVID-19."

Grab was founded in 2012 and became Southeast Asia's most valuable private company when it bought up Uber's Southeast Asia operations in 2018. It later expanded into other services, including food delivery.

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