Mar 27, 2017

Uber rival Grab raising giant new funding round

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Grab, a ride-sharing company focused on Southeast Asia, is in talks to raise more than $1.5 billion in new funding led by existing shareholder SoftBank, per Bloomberg. This would basically double the Indonesia-based startup's total VC haul to date, which included a $750 million Series F round last fall at a post-money valuation just north of $3 billion.

Why it's a big deal: For starters, this is just another headache for Uber, which already is experiencing persistent migraines. More broadly, however, it's yet another case of SoftBank stepping into a pre-IPO breach that was created by the partial departure of mutual funds and other venture tourists. It's also worth beginning to question is SoftBank itself is slowing down the tech IPO market, acting as a sort of JOBS Act counterweight.

Bottom line: "Grab, which this week announced plans to expand to its seventh country in the region, is racing against Uber and Go-Jek Indonesia PT to cast its net across more cities and drum up business for its nascent payments platform... It's hiring more than 800 new research and development staff in six centers over the next two years, including new facilities in Bangalore and Ho Chi Minh City." ― Bloomberg

Go deeper

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 6,889,889 — Total deaths: 399,642 — Total recoveries — 3,085,326Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.
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In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.