Singapore's Ninja Van raises $394.6m in new funding amid pandemic

Ninja Van has raised a total US$400 million since it was launched in 2014. PHOTO: NINJA VAN

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - E-commerce delivery firm Ninja Van said it raised US$279 million (S$394.6 million) in new funding from investors, including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's B Capital and ride-hailing firm Grab as the Covid-19 pandemic has led more people to shop online.

The Singapore-based company has raised a total US$400 million since it was launched in 2014, with operations in the city-state, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The round was led by existing investor Europe's GeoPost alongside two sovereign wealth funds, it said in a statement on Tuesday (May 5). Other investors include Monk's Hill Ventures and Golden Gate Ventures Growth Fund.

Ninja Van did not provide a valuation.

The company works with e-commerce firms including Alibaba's Lazada, Indonesia's Tokopedia and Sea Ltd's Shopee. It plans to use the funds to dig deeper into the business-to-business sector, while growing its services for small firms and direct-to-consumer brands.

Ninja Van operates in six markets - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. With a workforce of more than 30,000, it handles an average of over one million parcels daily.

Start-ups, however, are facing a more challenging funding and growth environment this year as the virus outbreak hits demand and turns investors cautious.

"We believe that companies like Ninja Van are built to survive and thrive throughout both strong economic climates and uncertain ones," B Capital's Saverin said in a statement.

Singapore has implemented a two-month long social distancing circuit breaker aimed at stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus that is due to last until June 1.

Said Ninja Van CEO Lai Chang Wen: "We are grateful for our strong base of strategic partners who continue supporting us through all market conditions - now more than ever. This new capital injection enables us to keep our focus on offering hassle-free delivery solutions for sellers and their customers across South-east Asia."

With additional information from The Straits Times

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