DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Grab moots Malaysia banking licence; Eve Sleep breaks even for first time; and Loaf poaches Debenhams finance director.
Grab moots Malaysia banking licence
Grab is competing to secure one of five digital banking licences in Malaysia, according to anonymous sources speaking to Reuters. The Singapore-based ride-sharing firm will reportedly be competing with a range of notable companies including gaming peripherals manufacturer Razer, AirAsia, and telecoms provider Axaiata, along with local lenders such as Hong Leong Bank and Maybank. Under the proposals by the Malaysian government, the banking products would have to address “under-served and unserved segments” while maintaining a minimum of MYR 100m (£18.8m) in capital initially, eventually having to maintain a level of MYR 300m (£56.3m).
Despite being best known for its ride-hailing business, Grab has already diversified into digital payment systems with GrabPay, and recently launched a Mastercard-powered payment card in Singapore, with an expected roll-out in Philippines during the first three months of the year.
Eve Sleep breaks even for first time
Eve Sleep has released a trading update for the year ending 31st December 2019, revealing that for the final four months of the year the online mattress seller broke even at the operating level for the first time since its formation in 2014. Despite revenue falling by nearly 19%, the London-based DTC brand has reduced EBITDA losses by 43% over the course of the year, attributed to the streamlining of its marketing efforts. Following the announcement Eve Sleep (LON: EVE) share price climbed to a high of £0.0250, but has since fallen to £0.0184 at the time of writing.
In a statement, James Sturrock, CEO of Eve Sleep, said, “We are delivering on our priorities of reducing losses and stemming cash burn as we prioritise profitability over sales growth at any cost. We are well placed to make further significant progress in 2020, with a differentiated brand position, a broader product range than peers and ongoing improvements to the customer experience, supported by a lower cost base, a substantial cash balance and no debt.”
Zomato acquires Uber Eats India
Food delivery Zomato has acquired the Indian division of the Uber Eats food delivery business in an all-stock transaction, with Uber obtaining a 9.99% stake in Zomato in return. While the Uber Eats brand will continue to be marketed in the country, however customers will be automatically redirected to Zomato’s platform. Redundancies have not been confirmed by either firm, however it has been reported that approximately 100 Uber Eats India employees will be moved into other departments or laid off.
In a statement, Deepinder Goyal, founder and CEO of Zomato, said, “We are proud to have pioneered restaurant discovery and to have created a leading food delivery business across India. This acquisition significantly strengthens our position in the category.”