Ryde said on Monday that it is preparing an IPO on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange for next year, aiming for a SGD 200 million (USD 148.9 million) valuation. It appointed SAC Capital as a financial adviser.
Ryde CEO Terence Zou told KrASIA that the company is looking to fund its future expansion plans efficiently. “We want to access a wider investor base which includes retail investors and our loyal members,” he said. “This is also a good way to build transparency and confidence in our brand, with both consumers and businesses.”
Many Southeast Asian startups, mostly unicorns, are reportedly preparing IPOs at the moment. A widely considered choice has been the listing via a blank-check company on Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Even though Ryde decided for a local listing first, Zou said that a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) isn’t off the table. “SGX doesn’t have a SPAC option at the moment,” he said.
Zou believes that his firm has grown sustainably over the past years. Despite the pandemic-related setbacks in 2020, it managed to turn profitable by Q4. This year, Ryde is targeting to hit SGD 120 million (USD 89.3 million) of gross transaction value (GTV) and by 2023, a local market share of 30%.
“Our core users are Singaporeans and those working here,” said Zou. “They use our services for the commute, so we have been less impacted by the drastic drop in tourist arrivals as compared to taxis.”
With rivals such as Grab and Gojek eyeing IPOs this year, competition is set to get tougher with the market giants and their war chests.
“We welcome competition as that has made us stronger as a company,” he said. “We will offer more innovative mobility products and services such as Ryde for Business which will be launched shortly.” Zou added that they will ramp up the on-demand delivery service RydeSend as well.
Founded in 2015, Ryde started out as a carpooling service in Singapore. To date, the company has facilitated over 16 million bookings and its app has been downloaded close to 700,000 times.