Delivery group that serves south-east Asia’s remote villages weighs IPO

The Financial Times

Ninja Van, a logistics group that has used motorcycles, boats and even water buffaloes to deliver 1.7m parcels every day across south-east Asia, is considering an initial public offering as early as next year after being valued at $1bn.

Backed by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital, Ninja Van’s growth in revenue and orders has surged thanks to an ecommerce boom fuelled by south-east Asia’s 400m internet users.

Armed with 34,000 employees and 1,800 sorting stations, the seven-year-old company specialises in delivering to the thousands of smaller cities and remote villages across south-east Asia that international couriers struggle to serve. Despite coronavirus pandemic-enforced lockdowns, daily shipments have grown from 1m in May 2020 to 1.7m in July.

But Jeffrey Seah, a partner at Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures, pointed to price competition as a significant challenge for upstart delivery groups.

“Generally, logistics is a price-war game. It’s an expensive battle for market share, perhaps even a winner-take-all battle,” Seah said.

“Some of the ecommerce companies are also starting their own logistics services, partly aimed at stopping incumbent players from raising prices.”

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