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Startups

Vietnam ride-hailer gets $60m Deutsche Bank loan to battle Grab

Be Group also competes with Gojek in food delivery and has digital bank

A Be Group driver takes a break in Ho Chi Minh City, where COVID and the Ukraine war have fueled a driver and gas shortage. (Photo by Lien Hoang)

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Deutsche Bank has loaned $60 million to ride-hailer Be Group in Vietnam, where customers are literally fighting for rides as companies -- including rivals Grab and Gojek -- struggle to attract drivers amid COVID challenges and rising fuel prices.

Be Group said on Monday it will use the funds to expand three businesses -- motorbike- and car-hailing, food delivery and digital banking -- and has the option to borrow a further $40 million. The app maker said it looks to turn a profit this quarter, though startups overall have yet to prove a sustainable business model in the ride-hailing market.

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