Feb 25, 2020 - Economy & Business

Southeast Asian "super-app" Grab raises $856 million

Photo: Getty Images

Grab, a Southeast Asian "super-app" for everything from ride-hail to payments, raised $856 million from Japanese investors Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and TIS Inc.

Why it matters: This appears designed to help Grab maintain its market lead over rival GoJek — the companies were most recently valued at $14 billion and $9 billion, respectively — although comes less than 24 hours after a report about merger talks.

  • Extra intrigue: Gojek denied that the two sides are in negotiations, while Grab declined comment.

The bottom line: "Grab’s growth of its super app — in which it (like others pursuing a similar strategy) provides a one-stop shop for consumers to both see to their transportation needs, but also other aspects of their connected consumer life, such as eating, entertainment and managing their money — has involved the company partnering with a number of other financial giants," writes TechCrunch.

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Insurance broker Aon to buy rival Willis Towers Watson for nearly $30 billion

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Aon agreed to buy rival insurance broker Willis Towers Watson for nearly $30 billion in stock.

Why it matters: It's the largest merger so far in 2020, and the insurance sector's largest-ever merger. The combined company would become the world's most valuable broker, topping current market leader Marsh & McLennan.

The growing coronavirus stimulus packages

President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, joined by members of the Coronavirus Task Force. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As the Senate was passing a "Phase 2" stimulus package Wednesday to address the coronavirus, the White House and leaders on Capitol Hill were pushing ahead on a "Phase 3" deal that would pump an additional $1 trillion into the economy.

Why it matters: In just a few weeks, the White House has gone from proposing a few billion dollars in quick aid to one of the largest and most expensive stimulus packages in modern history.

Uber and Lyft's rise may be fueling climate change

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new analysis provides the latest evidence that the explosive growth of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft is making it harder to fight CO2 emissions from transportation.

Driving the news: The Union of Concerned Scientists studied the triple-whammy of trips replacing climate-friendly transit, inducing new travel and "deadhead" miles — that is, when ride-hailing vehicles move without passengers.