Grab to cut jobs of more than 300 employees

SoftBank Group-funded Grab said on Tuesday it would lay off more than 300 employees due to the impact of novel coronavirus.
GrabSoutheast Asia’s most valuable startup with a valuation of $14 billion informed staff of the job cut at a town-hall meeting, Reuters reported.

SoftBank-backed Uber and Ola have both cut hundreds of jobs.

Grab CEO Anthony Tan told staff in a note which was shared with Reuters the loss-making company would cut just under 5 percent of its headcount, or about 360 employees. The company had earlier asked employees to take voluntary unpaid leave.

Singapore-based Grab, which is active in eight countries, did not face capital constraints and would be “sunsetting non-core projects, consolidating teams and pivoting to focus on deliveries”, a spokeswoman said.

Grab currently has $3 billion in reserves, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

The layoffs are the latest restructuring at a SoftBank Group portfolio company.

“Grab has been in growth mode for so many years in many verticals and it is necessary for it to make an adjustment to be more focused,” said Jianggan Li, from Singapore-based tech venture consultancy Momentum Works.

“With sufficient capital in the bank account and eased competitive pressure, it should really focus on building the core services well to achieve profitability.”