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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Grab, a Singapore-based "super app" maker, on Tuesday announced plans to go public in the U.S. via the largest-ever SPAC deal.

Why it matters: The deal is more than twice the size of the previous record-holder, United Wholesale Mortgages.

Details: Grab would have a pro forma equity value of $39.6 billion, while SPAC sponsor Altimeter Growth Corp. agreed to have its shares "locked up" for three years.

What is Grab? The company launched in 2011 as a ride-hail platform, basically the Singapore version of Uber. But it's since transformed into a "super-app" or comprehensive digital wallet, providing everything from food delivery to third-party ecommerce logistics to financial services.

  • The super-app concept hasn't really caught on in the U.S., as evidenced by Uber offering separate ride-hail and food delivery apps.
  • Its popularity in Southeast Asia is driven, in part, by slower mobile broadband speeds, which discourage people from downloading multiple apps (let alone running them simultaneously). And, for Grab, that helps keep people within its ecosystem — allowing it to offer ancillary products like auto insurance.

Go deeper

1 min ago - World

Social Democrats' win in Germany could shake up Europe

Olaf Scholz caught the bouquet on Sunday. Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty

BERLIN Angela Merkel's political farewell was spoiled Sunday night when the Social Democrats (SPD) narrowly claimed victory in Germany's elections, just four years after suffering their worst loss since World War II.

Why it matters: The stunning political comeback could swing the balance of power in Germany leftward after 16 years of rule by Merkel's conservative bloc, and it could lay the groundwork for a more ambitious European Union.

41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans sink short-term government funding, debt limit bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Republicans on Monday voted down the House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: Congress is just 72 hours away from a potential shutdown, so now comes Democrats' Plan B. Democratic leadership is expected strip the short-term funding bill of language about raising the debt limit — the part that Republicans' reject — in order to pass a bill before federal agencies close down on Friday.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Laurene Powell Jobs' $3.5 billion climate campaign

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, is investing $3.5 billion in her new climate-action group, the Waverley Street Foundation — all to be spent in 10 years, as a way to show urgency on the issue.

  • Then the group will sunset.

The big picture: The foundation "will focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change," an official tells Axios.