Singapore’s Ninja Van Delivery Startup Raises $279M

Ninja Van closes funding round

Parcel delivery startup Ninja Van, working in overdrive during the pandemic, ended a funding round with $279 million.

Ninja Van’s clients include names like L’Oreal and Wing Tai’s G2000 label, which it has helped digitize and boost eCommerce sales. It also works with smaller operations, including social media influencers.

The round was backed by France’s GeoPost SA and ride-hailing company Grab. Other backers included Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group and Monk’s Hill Ventures.

The startup experienced an electric jolt in activity due to the pandemic, which has seen people sheltering at home and shifting their shopping habits with an outsized advantage toward eCommerce.

And while the startup field might not be as golden as it was in the pre-pandemic days, investors are looking at companies in fields like telehealth, gaming and eCommerce to see where the money is in the quickly-changed world.

Ninja Van, formed in 2014, derived its name from the idea of “working quietly to get things done,” according to founder Lai Chang Wen. The company works to deliver more than a million packages across the Southeast Asia region for clients, and its recent funding rounds have been bringing in hundreds of billions of dollars. The company’s total financing is now around $400 million.

Ninja Van employs over 30,000 people, including 20,000 full time drivers, and operates in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Lai, a former derivatives trader at Barclays, said the company was profitable in roughly half of those markets but would need more time before becoming profitable in all of them. He said the company might do another funding round before a sale or initial public offering.

GudangAda, an Indonesian startup which helps small businesses obtain things like cooking supplies, has also been doing well despite the pandemic, closing a funding round for $25.4 million. That round was led by Sequoia India and Alpha JWC Ventures. The company plans to hire another 100 people this year, according to founder Stevensang.