Grab, Uber’s rival in Southeast Asia, has expanded its C-level team after hiring its first CFO. Linda Hoglund has joined the company from HOOQ, the Singapore-based video streaming startup founded by telco giant Singtel.
Five-year-old GrabTaxi did not formally announce the hire. Hoglund recently updated her LinkedIn profile with her new job details and a Grab spokesperson confirmed her arrival to TechCrunch.
A graduate of the Stockholm School of Economics, Hoglund has spent 19 years in the finance space. She previously held roles with European telecom services firm Relacom and payments company Klarna before joining Singtel as its CFO in September 2015. That’s not a particularly long stint at HOOQ, which could be seen as somewhat worrying. TechCrunch understands that, Hoglund aside, HOOQ is bracing itself for another significant C-level exit. The company, which is a joint venture started by Singtel, Warner Brothers and Sony Pictures in January 2015, competes with Netflix and local rivals like iFlix, which recently raised $45 million from UK broadcaster Sky, for attention in Southeast Asia’s nascent streaming market.
The new hire comes at an interesting time for Grab. We’re used to seeing on-demand taxi app companies raise money on a frequent basis, but Grab hasn’t pulled in new funding since last September — some eight months ago. There’s been speculation in the industry about an upcoming round that Grab is working to complete, but the company denied that claim when we asked. Perhaps a new CFO and some financial belt-tightening is necessary in order to get this new financing across the line?
Grab’s most recent round was a $350 million Series E from a range of investors that included China’s Uber rival Didi Kuaidi, sovereign wealth fund CIC, a Didi Kuaidi investor. The company has raised more than $650 million to date. Uber has raised over $7 billion from investors to cover its business in multiple parts of the world.
In other Grab news today, the company has introduced food delivery services in Indonesia via its GrabBike motorbike taxi service, as Tech In Asia reported. Uber recently launched its UberMoto service in Jakarta while domestic rival GoJek also offers food delivery and other services via bike.