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Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan on Uber deal, fintech, Indonesia

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Ever since wrapping a $2 billion fundraising round led by Softbank and Didi Chuxing last July, Grab has been moving quickly to connect the millions of “invisibles” across the region to its financial services.

The GrabPay e-wallet launched across Southeast Asia in November of last year on the heels of the company introducing its peer-to-peer payments service. The financial technology push picked up momentum last month when Grab inked a joint venture with Japan’s Credit Saison to form Grab Financial Services. On the same day, Grab announced a partnership with insurance giant Chubb for in-app insurance solutions.

Grab could, however, face even more formidable challengers than Uber in the race to bank the unbanked. China’s big tech firms are competing in the space with Tencent’s WeChat pay and Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial and have announced recent expansion plans in Southeast Asia. But Tan left the door open to teaming with, rather than defeating the internet giants.

“I think Ant Financial, again another great company, for us, as we are all about working with many, many partners. We don’t fixate ourselves on who’s the best partner … we think about what are the biggest problems and how do we solve that problem,” he said. “And if Ant Financial, or whoever, is another great partner, we are focused on that problem and on that segment of underbanked or invisible people that we can help and solve that problem.”

Finding friends may come in handy when it comes to staking a leadership claim in Grab’s biggest battleground: Indonesia. Home grown ride-hailing service GoJek, has also been investing in financial tech in a bid to capture the enormous amount of people in the country who don’t have a bank account.

But Tan isn’t taking the Indonesia challenge lightly, insisting Grab is already leading in transportation in the country, where most of his time is spent: “And now as we continue to invest in Indonesia we are very confident now with the Uber Eats assets we will also become the number one food player in this region. And then, as we continue to expand GrabPay, Grab Financial, that will expand throughout the region.”

Grab’s CEO is hoping that by cementing their position in ride-hailing and food delivery in crucial markets such as Indonesia, it will be easier to attract financial services clients through cross-promotion.

He sketched out what a day could look like for his ideal Grab consumer: “The minute they wake up, they book a car. The car comes and the guy has his car financed by Grab financial. He or she then pays for her lunch (at a) local noodle stall with Grab Pay, zips between meetings using a Grab bike then orders Grab food on the way home.”

When asked whether plans to turn Grab into a multi-service platform for the masses puts the company on a firmer path to an initial public offering, Tan kept his cards close to his chest. Still, he said the Uber deal is a step in the right direction: “I mean, now that one sector of our businesses clearly has a clear path to profitability. That obviously becomes a closer and closer reality.”

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Apple has quietly dropped 22% from its peak, giving up $500 billion in market cap

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Well, that was fast.

It took just 12 trading sessions for Apple to plunge more than 20% from its all-time high, shedding more than half a trillion in market capitalization.

The tech giant has plunged 22.6% from its intraday record high of $137.98 from Sept. 2, losing around $532 billion in market value. Apple’s fast and furious decline followed its massive run-up in August ahead of its 4-for-1 stock split, while the steep losses also came as Apple’s recent product event — its first in 2020 — didn’t live up to the hype.

The Tim Cook-led giant on Tuesday announced a bunch of new hardware and some updated software, including the Apple Watch Series 6, the iPad Air, a fitness service and service bundles called Apple One.

However, Apple did not announce any new iPhones. Also, the biggest thing missing from Apple One’s bundle that would make it much more attractive: a hardware tie-in to the iPhone.

Toni Sacconaghi, senior research analyst at Bernstein, called the event “relatively underwhelming.”

“We believe it could be difficult to move users from competitive music, video or gaming services, where they are often entrenched,” Sacconaghi said in a note. “We continue to believe that Apple should look to more creatively bundle its hardware + services into integrated subscription bundles.”

Apple’s recent weakness also came amid a broad sell-off in the tech sector as investors rotated out of the market-leading high-flyers. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has plunged into correction territory, down more than 10% from its record high. Some investors believe the drop in the tech darlings comes from concerns over lofty valuations that have run up too far, too fast.

Before the recent sell-off, shares of Apple surged 21.4% in August alone as the announcement of the stock split sparked a knee-jerk rally. The move baffled many on Wall Street as such a corporate action does not have an impact on the company’s fundamentals or the intrinsic value of the existing ownership. 

Still, some analysts see Apple rebounding from here given its mega-cap position and history of quality products.

Loup Venture’s Gene Munster said the key takeaway from the Apple event is how the company is “masterfully upselling its consumers.”

“They can get away with it and the reason is that they have some of the world’s best products,” Munster said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Fast Money.” “They do have great products and consumers see the trade off, the price premium relative to value.”

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Sequoia had a $9 billion week from three IPOs and helped on TikTok

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at age 87

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