Coronavirus

Grab CEO To Investors: We’re Facing ‘Tough Decisions’

Grab has acquired Bento and is rebranding it under its own moniker.

The CEO of Grab Holdings Inc. told investors the coronavirus is creating major challenges for the Singapore ride-hailing and food delivery company, according to a Bloomberg report.

“COVID-19 is the single biggest crisis to affect Grab in the eight years of our existence,” Anthony Tan said in a message on Monday (April 20), Bloomberg reported. “It has had an unprecedented impact on our operations, our business and the livelihoods of our partners.”

Like much of the service and retail sectors, demand for the Singapore-based company has disappeared with the shuttering of all but essential services. Grab has said it is trying to offset the loss of ride-hailing business with its food delivery service.

“There will be tough decisions and trade-offs to make as we continue to evaluate its impact on our business,” Tan said. “We will right-size our costs, manage our capital efficiently and make the necessary operational adjustments in order to weather the storm and carve out a path to profitability.”

Grab operates in more than 300 cities in eight countries in Asia, including Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Just last week, Tan told CNBC that while Grab has seen revenues suffer since the coronavirus outbreak, he predicted his company will have enough liquidity to get through a recession.

In the interview, he expressed optimism.

“Looking ahead, though, I know that transport is a mass-market essential service, so we anticipate it will recover strongly once people start commuting again post lockdown,” he said.

At the time, he said the company’s business model includes food and grocery delivery at a time when demand has surged as patrons avoid going out.

Tan was asked about the company’s overall financial health.

“Because of our strong investor base, we are fortunate to have ample liquidity to tide us through, whether it’s a 12-month recession or 36-month recession,” Tan added.

In February, Grab purchased Singapore’s robo-advisory startup Bento for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition was made, Grab said, to offer retail wealth management services to users on the Grab app. Grab changed the name of Bento to GrabInvest.

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