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

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
9 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
9 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

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