Grab, the ride-hailing and food-delivery app in Southeast Asia valued at $14 billion, doesn’t want to be compared to Uber. But comparisons are inevitable. Both companies are backed by SoftBank, are unprofitable, and face strong competitors. Grab even acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia operations last year.
At the end of 2018, Grab was internally projecting a 2019 annual net loss of about $1.5 billion, according to people who were briefed on the matter. But in the wake of Uber’s weak performance on the public market, Grab has taken a number of steps to curb its losses, including scaling back some of its driver subsidies and food-delivery promotions and streamlining its workforce by consolidating overlapping roles.