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Grab Senior Exec Quits to Join Blockchain Gaming Company

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • Wui Ngiap Foo has announced his departure from Grab Holdings Ltd.
  • The executive becomes CEO of a cryptocurrency gaming startup.
  • There has been an exodus of staff from Web2 to Web3.
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The brain drain from Web2 to Web3 continues with the announcement that a senior executive at ride-hailing and food-delivery company Grab is quitting to join a blockchain gaming firm.

Wui Ngiap Foo, Grab Holdings’ head of technology, is believed to be heading to Ethlas as chief executive officer.

Foo has been an integral part of the leadership of Grab from its inception to becoming a major player in the Southeast Asian market. Currently, he occupies the role of building the platform’s fleet, and prior to that, he served as the head of the firm’s integrity unit. 

Industry sources claim that he was instrumental in Grab’s collaborations with Uber and later Microsoft.

Grab’s weak financial performance may be behind move

According to a report by Bloomberg, while the reason for Foo’s departure is not yet clear, the underwhelming performance of Grab may be to blame. 

The company’s shares are down by over 50% since it went public last Dec and its earnings report is below par. The firm is reportedly facing high investor scrutiny over its expansion plans and high cash burn rate.

At Ethlas, Foo, 35, is expected to bring in his years of experience at startups to foster growth. Ethlas is one of a number of gaming companies built on blockchain technology that allows players to accumulate tradeable crypto coins. Gamers can play a range of games on the platform including Candy Crush, 2048, and Tetris. 

And the firm has raised $2.7 million in funding from VC firms like Sequoia Capital India and Venturra Capital since launching in 2021.

Blockchain gaming is the fastest-growing niche in the cryptoverse with the majority of active crypto wallets connected to games. Gaming platforms like Axie Infinity, Decentraland, and Sandbox have experienced a meteoric rise in fortune thanks to the increasing interest in blockchain gaming.

With blockchain gaming is on the rise, another trend is the exit of executives from Web2 companies to crypto firms. 

Last month, two YouTube executives announced their departure for Web3 companies. One was YouTube’s gaming head who left to join Polygon Studios as CEO, while Jamie Byrne left to join the non-fungible token (NFT) platform Bright Moments.

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has adopted the strategy of hiring ex-regulators in key roles to improve the company’s regulatory stance around the world. Other companies like Bitfury have also adopted similar strategies.

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Wahid Pessarlay
Wahid loves to write, especially about Crypto and Blockchain. He started his blogging journey in 2017 and turned to crypto in 2019. Wahid is interested in tech, chess and DeFi. He aims to promote decentralization to everyone on the planet.