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An unexpected headwind for Grab in Vietnam

An unexpected headwind for Grab in Vietnam 1

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Hello there ,

Since Grab entered Vietnam in 2014, Grab has profoundly changed the daily lives of the country’s urbanites. We often joke that those who live in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City really can’t live without the Grab app.

Before Grab came along, we had to bargain with the xe ôm (motorbike) drivers for a good price. At times, some drivers would trick passengers like me into using a longer route.

Grab’s seven-year journey in Vietnam, however, was far from being smooth. The company was entangled in a lengthy lawsuit with traditional taxi provider Vinasun, which accused Grab of unfair competition practices in the country. Grab also had to spend a lot of resources persuading regulators here to officially legalize ride-hailing cars.

Like it has done elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Grab has also drawn so many of Vietnam’s tech talents, who believe their work can truly make a difference.

Former employees who helped build the company during its early days in Vietnam hope to reap some rewards from Grab’s upcoming historic listing in the US. Unfortunately, a legal hurdle in Vietnam prevents them from doing that.

But some ex-Grabbers told me that it’s not all about the money as those stocks also represent their attachment to the company. Meanwhile, Grab told Tech in Asia that the one-time payout it offered was fair – a sentiment that clearly wasn’t shared by all of the affected former staff.

— Thu Huong Le, journalist at Tech in Asia

 


 

TOP STORIES THIS WEEK

An unexpected headwind for Grab in Vietnam 2

1. Grab Vietnam ex-staffers ‘disappointed’ over offer to give up shares
As its US listing nears, Grab is moving to ensure that its employee stock ownership plan meets Vietnam’s regulations. But some ex-Grabbers consider the payout too low and unfair.
 

2. Uncovering Southeast Asia’s hidden Grab and Gojek mafia
Updated: The Grab and Gojek alumni network is growing in the region, and the two firms’ public listings can start a wave of startups for Southeast Asia.
 

3. Social commerce app Kiko TV used this deck to secure SOSV backing this year
The company said it has seen over 120,000 downloads and acquired 90,000 monthly active users as of January this year.
 

4. Demystifying the Alibaba mafia
The ranks of Alibaba alumni founders have grown, but their influence largely remains in China.
 

5. How Hoolah fits into Shopback 2.0
The deal shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it did.
 

6. Soonicorn Social Bella doubled its revenue in 2020
The company also said that its registered users went up 2x from its pre-pandemic numbers.
 

7. How BRI went from late adopter to frontrunner in Indonesia’s tech scene
Despite being a late entrant, BRI has aggressively built its startup ecosystem and is now at the forefront of Indonesia’s tech industry.
 

8. Sea Group’s financial health in 9 charts
We put our finger on the pulse of Sea Group, Southeast Asia’s largest internet company.
 

9. How Emtek’s recent buy can boost Grab’s digibank ambitions
Grab’s entry into Indonesia may be late compared to several competitors, but the fact that it’s a regional firm may be its core strength.
 

10. Can Tiki light up the overseas IPO torch for Vietnam?
Considered the “Amazon of Vietnam,” Tiki’s valuation is nearing US$1 billion. Can it stay in the ring with regional powerhouses Shopee and Lazada?

 


 

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An unexpected headwind for Grab in Vietnam 3
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