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South East Asia’s main ride-hailing giant, Grab, just raised $200m to expand its fintech offerings. The Hustle Sponsored by Singapore ride-sharing giant Grab snags $200m to expand further into fintech The Singapore-based ride-grabbing giant raised $200m from Booking Holdings (the...
By: Wes Schlagenhauf
October 30, 2018
South East Asia’s main ride-hailing giant, Grab, just raised $200m to expand its fintech offerings.
Singapore ride-sharing giant Grab snags $200m to expand further into fintech
The Singapore-based ride-grabbing giant raised $200m from Booking Holdings (the company formerly known as Priceline) to expand its growing list of financial services.
After strong-arming Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing market, Grab is now positioning itself as a de facto bank for its 100m+ users.
No longer up for Grabs
Anthony Tan, Grab’s founder and the heir to a Malaysian auto-importing dynasty, launched a service called GrabTaxi in 2012.
The company relocated to Singapore in 2014 and raised a Series A, B, C, and D in a single year. Grab has now raised $6.3B, expanded its offerings beyond taxis (GrabCar, GrabBike, GrabCycle, GrabShare, GrabFamily), to continue to stay ahead of rivals Uber and Go-Jek.
Last year, Grab cemented its first-place position by acquiring Uber’s SE-Asian ride-hailing business, happily paying a $9.5m fine to bump its market share up past 80%.
From motorcycles to money management
Go-Jek is still fighting the good fight (it raised $1.2B this week at a valuation of $9B), but Grab’s quasi-monopoly on ride-hailing gave it the financial flexibility to expand beyond transportation.
Last November, the company launched GrabPay, a payment system for 3rd-party vendors that allows customers to use the app to Grab anything from street-meat to a ride home.
Then, last week, Grab announced a partnership with Mastercard to offer prepaid cards to its users, doubling down on fintech.
The future is finance
Executives on the financial team at Grab toldAxios that their finance products now represent a bigger market opportunity for Grab than its ride-hailing offerings.
Since just 27% of Southeast Asian consumers have a bank account, Grab could conceivably become the primary banking provider to the majority of its pool of 110m hailers.
In addition to its partnership with Mastercard, Grab has partnered with Japanese money lender Credit Saison and American insurer Chubb (and now Booking Holdings) to expands its financial offerings.
Grab it while the Grabbing’s good
A new B2B cannabis logistics and compliance platform raises $5m
TechCrunch reports that the co-founder and former CEO of marijuana delivery startup Eaze has raised a $5m seed round for a new company that specializes in logistics for the electric lettuce.
Say hello to WAYV
Keith McCarty, who mysteriously stepped down from Eaze 2 years ago, launched WAYV, a B2B cannabis logistics platform that delivers inventory to weed-tailers -- an idea that came to McCarty after witnessing the hardship of supply chain logistics at Eaze.
The LA-based company connects cannabis companies to brands and provides next-day delivery of cannabis products -- because, just like consumers, dispensaries also need weed dealers.
In other words, WAYV is essentially Eaze for the cannabis enterprise, not the consumer.
With new industries come new business models
Now that the majority of Americans favor legalization (90% in favor of medical “prescribed by a doctor,” and over 60% for recreational), weed is a rising corporate star. But, B2B weed-delivery is just the stem of the flower.
Recently, hedge fund Tiger Global led the funding round for cannabis-tracking company Metrc, a software developer that keeps track of marijuana through the commercial supply chain -- a pertinent niche, as the US continues to wrestle over regulations.
And, as VC investment in cannabis startups continues to grow ($700m raised since 2014), you can bet there’s more green in weed startups’ futures.
The Wall Street Journalreports that Berkshire Hathaway has invested $600m in 2 big fintech companies focusing on emerging markets: StoneCo, a Brazilian payments service, and One97 Communications, the parent company of Indian mobile payments company Paytm.
Why is this a big deal?
Because ‘emerging’ and Berkshire go together like oil and water
Berkshire’s bread-and-butter is US-based companies with century-long records of stable growth like Coca-Cola, or utilities companies.
Buffett has also spoken out against investing in IPOs compared with market-tested companies.
But, Buffett himself has admitted that Berkshire’s been hoarding way more cash (to the tune of $111B) than it’s been investing…
And now Todd ‘Diddy’ Combs is pimpin’ all over the world
(OK, we’re the only ones who call him that.)
Combs invested nearly $300m in Stone’s IPO last week and around $300m in Paytm in August. And, as one of BH’s 2 portfolio managers, Combs and his partner in crime Ted Weschler have been expanding the company’s horizons.
However, WSJ points out both Paytm and Stone share qualities of a typical Berkshire investment, including dominating their respective markets: Stone is the 4th-largest payment processor in Brazil by volume and Paytm has more users than Paypal has globally.
According to studies, social isolation, AKA loneliness, costs the US government nearly $7B in additional health care costs per year, and most of that number comes from elderly people.
As part of a Health and Retirement Study, AARP took a look at just how much social isolation costs the system.
The government needs people to be happy… for the economy
86% of the survey respondents describe themselves as connected or well-connected, with strong in-person contact with their children, friends, and other family.
But, the study found that the 14% who described themselves as “lonely” suffered more frequently from depression, had more trouble performing basic daily activities like bathing, and were more likely to have at least 5 chronic health problems.
And, all of that gets passed along to Medicare.
On average, Medicare spent an additional $134 per month, or $1.6k per year, on each of these socially isolated individuals ($6.7B a year in spending). The study shows that loneliness costs Medicare more each year than arthritis.
So does loneliness cause health problems or…
Could it be the other way around?
Quartz reports that the study found both to be true, but, while lonely people aren’t necessarily admitted to the hospital more frequently than connected ones, when they are, they stay there longer, and need more expensive treatments.
Fewer than 25% of well-connected patients died within 6 years of the first interview in 2006, while 35% of isolated ones had.
NerdWallet announces their Best Online Checking Accounts of 2018
And Radius Hybrid’s Checking Account snagged a spot on the list. Winner winner chicken dinner.
Of course, if you’ve A) got a brain and B) ever heard of Radius Bank, this should come as no surprise.
Not only does their checking account do everything you’d expect a checking account to do in 2018 -- like offering up to 1.20% interest rate -- they’ve added even more pizzazz with their new online features.
5 minutes to get Venmo integration, free ATMs, and zero fees
All it takes to get your deposits in that sweet, sweet Radius Hybrid Checking Account is a couple minutes and $100. So what’s that get you? Lots.
The ability to pay or request money from your deadbeat friends through Venmo, right in the Radius app. Or to turn your debit card off when you lose it in the post-happy-hour Uber. Or use any ATM in the world for free.
Best of all, never pay a bank just to have an account again -- Satan and his monthly maintenance fees have no place here.
We could go on, but we’d rather you just start saving now. Open an account below.