Ninja Van secures US$279M after the COVID-19 pandemic drives e-commerce surge

Ninja Van secures US$279M after the COVID-19 pandemic drives e-commerce surge

Ninja Van recently announced that it had raised US$279M from its investors, who include ride-hailing giant Grab and France’s GeoPost SA, making it one of the few startups that have scored new funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. Monk’s Hill Ventures and Capital Group also joined this Series D funding.

This new funding now brings the total capital raised for Ninja Van to US$400 million. Ninja Van helps e-commerce clients deliver packages across six Southeast Asian countries, and it has hugely benefited from the sudden increase in demand for e-commerce services brought about by lockdowns caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

This funding surpassed the US$200M target that the company had set last year, according to Chief Executive Officer Lai Chang Wen. Lai said that such investments show that logistics is something that is here to stay.

Lai is 32 years old, and he founded Ninja Van in 2014 with his two friends, aiming to use modern technology to make the logistics market more efficient. He formerly worked at Barclays Plc. They agreed on the name Ninja Van to reflect the idea of working quietly and still getting things done.

Now, it helps consumer brands from L’Oréal to Wing Tai Holdings Ltd.’s G2000 digitize their firms and sell to consumers, diversifying its clients beyond just e-commerce, reported Deal Street Asia.

Ninja Van also aims to handle deliveries of merchandise for smaller merchants, including social media influencers. Other investors that participated in this Series D funding included Golden Gate Ventures Growth Fund, InTouch Holdings, and Carmenta.

The Indonesia startup operates in six Southeast Asian countries including, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam, employing more than 30,000 people, 20,000 of them being full-time drivers. The platform is profitable in half of those markets, but it still needs time for the whole business to become solidly profitable, Lai Wen said.

Ninja Van will possibly do another funding round of funding before a sale or IPO, Lai added. “It certainly isn’t the sexiest of companies, but logistics has become a hot space since we invested five years ago,” Lim Kuo-Yi, a managing partner of Monk’s Hill Ventures, said.

“Very few companies at this scale have shown the ability to cover the region comprehensively and is able to demonstrate a credible path to profitability,” Lim added.

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