Online Grocers, Didi's IPO, and SPACs in Asia | Trusted Bytes News

This week, we’re all about eCommerce, also, Didi’s IPO, and who might be going the SPAC route next.

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This week, we’re all about eCommerce, also, Didi’s IPO, and who might be going the SPAC route next.

Welcome to Trusted Bytes! Here we give you week’s highlights in business news and emerging trends, with a lens on Asia. I’m your host Adrian Koh. If you like your news distilled like this, subscribe to us on YouTube or on any of your favourite podcasting services.

eCommerce. We’ve been talking a lot about ecommerce and how it’s been nothing short of a revolution in Asia. In India, Zomato’s planning to put in $100 million into online grocer Grofers, taking it to unicorn status. Much like JioMart, and other online grocers in the region, the global pandemic has only increased adoption. What’s interesting here is that with the prolonged lockdowns, we’re starting to see permanent habits forms among consumers, and in JioMart’s case up to 80% customer retention rates. That’s an cool retention metric. Just in India alone the online grocery market is estimated to be worth as much as $12 billion by 2023.

Still on ecommerce, Korean-based ecommerce giant Coupang announced that it was launching in Singapore. Why jump into a market already dominated by Shopee, Lazada, Qoo10, and Amazon? Like Amazon who launched in Singapore in late 2019, Singapore’s seen as a good testbed and launchpad into the rest of Southeast Asia, so we can expect more news (and good discounts) as Coupang preps for a big launch.

Next, Didi’s IPO had a rollercoaster debut this week on the New York Stock exchange, with their stock gaining as much as 29% at one point before closing at a modest 1% gain. Faced with dire news on Chinese government’s crackdowns and the state of Didi’s cash burn that threatened to dull its blockbuster debut, Didi managed to raise $4.4 billion from its IPO, the largest since Alibaba in 2014. Given the continuing tensions between the US and China, Chinese firms still did well in 2021, raising $7.6 billion in US markets.

Still on topic: a Bloomberg report cited sources that Singapore’s leading online classified company Carousell was considering a public listing in the US via an SPAC. The trail blazed by Grab, whose own SPAC merger was said to be delayed to Q4 2021, is piquing the interest of a number of mature start ups in the region, like Malaysia’s Carsome, Indonesia’s, and Singapore’s PropertyGuru. Carousell’s listing was said to be worth up to $2 billion. We’re expecting lots of news on mergers and acquisitions in the region, so continue to tune in as we watch this space for you.

Also, if you’re following ecommerce space as closely as us, check out our Telegram channel where we share what China’s doing to bring the future of ecommerce to today. Links are in the description.

So that's all the time we have for now. Check in with us again next week for more highlights from the news from Trusted Bytes. I’m Adrian Koh, and Trusted Bytes is a production of Trusted Services.

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