Thursday, June 21, 2018

Things To Discuss Regarding GRAB

a) Grab Food - I don't know about you but Uber Eats was fantastic. I don't know why that even after 4 weeks of Grab taking over, Grab Food is just as bad as Food Panda. Food Panda, the app that is like a casual barista, kinda worked sometimes but you just didn't know when. Food Panda's problem is a lack of control over its last mile delivery. It is the management of a secure team of last mile couriers that spells the end for most retail/service delivery apps. Particularly in Malaysia where getting a permanent group of loyal and dedicated couriers is as difficult as getting someone off handbags addiction.

So far, Grab Food (and Food Panda) vs UberEats is like Malaysia's version of 7-11 vs Family Mart respectively. Btw just try and sign up for Grab Food, its a doozy (not).

Grab and its competition in Manila ...

b) Grab's Domination - Following the deal, Grab is largely a Southeast Asian app. Didi conquered China following a similar deal sale by Uber there. However it is not all clear plain sailing. There are still up and coming companies seeking the same pie: Ryde in Singapore; Hype and Ipara in the Philippines; and the biggest of the lot Go Jek, coming to your nearest Southeast Asian country near you soon from Indonesia.

Go-Jek enjoys a strong market lead in Indonesia, where it is based, and recently raised $1.2 billion in a funding round that included Google as well as Chinese companies Tencent and and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek.

Judging from the Temasek parentage alone, there will be certain places where Go Jek may find it easier to operate in. 

Its not plain sailing for Grab yet. Just go to the Android reviews of the Grab app, its pretty scary. Not all is well at fairyland.

c) Grab's Goodwill Shortfall With Drivers - It is not a substantive issue but one which permeates below the surface. Many of those with Uber before can testify that Uber's system was "kinder" and "more understanding" of drivers compared to Grab's. The number of "banned drivers" is a touchy issue esp when it comes to Grab's "cancellation rules". Drivers may just have to cancel a ride because some customers did not show up for pick up, but having too many cancellations can cause the drivers to be banned.

“Riders are better ‘behaved’ and humane. Uber’s systems, with the 5-minute countdown upon arriving at pickup points (driver compensations) and a two-way rating system is fairer and educates riders to appreciate a driver’s time. I’ve only begun to drive on Grab but I can immediately tell that there’s a difference between the riders for both.”
 A former Uber driver who’s transitioned over to Grab
A few voices said something similar.
“I hope that all of the benefits on Uber’s system is implemented into Grab. There’s a reason why Uber’s drivers remain loyal with them. I hope that Grab listens to more drivers and riders to improve their system.”
Hence, it is imperative that Grab continues to improve its management systems and processes cause where there is room for improvements, there is room for the competition and Go Jek is a proven performer.

d) How Malaysian Is Grab? - Before Malaysians get swelled up with pride with Grab's rise and rise in the ride-hailing app industry. Let's look at just how Malaysian the company is now. No doubt we should be proud that two Malaysians had the brilliant idea and an even more effective execution strategy. But let's not kid ourselves here. Its been a long time that the Malaysian shareholdings' level has now been diluted to an unsubstantial amount. Its nobody's fault, many successful tech companies go through many rounds of funding and each level hence leaving most founders with a pittance.

It has to do with how important is funding/burn rate to a tech company. For example, Zuckerberg still holds 28% of Facebook, giving him a wealth value of $24b. Pony Ma still owns about 9% of Tencent but the company has a market value of $480b. However if your company is one that rides on subsidizing to win market share, rest assured you will need plenty of funding to keep hitting targets prior to a listing.

While there is no official shareholders' list for the new Grab. We can do an estimate by following the various rounds of funding. New composite shareholders for Grab: (~) denotes an approximation ...
1. Softbank (JP) ~ 30-31%
2. Uber (US) 27.5%
3. Didi (China) ~ 10-11%
4. Anthony & management ~ 6-8%
5. CIC (China) 3%
6. GIC (Singapore) 3%
7. Temasek Vertex (Singapore) 3%
8. China Hillhouse (China) 2%

So, there you go. At a $6b valuation (from last round of funding), we may surmise that Grab can aim for a $8-9b IPO next year, and yes their stakes will be diluted even further then.

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