BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

S’pore startup Ninja Van may pursue an IPO in the US next year, at “almost break-even” now

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Homegrown e-commerce logistics startup Ninja Van might be going public in the United States next year.

Ninja Van CEO Lai Chang Wen told the Financial Times (FT) on Sunday (July 25) that the startup is “a year away” from an initial public offering (IPO).

According to the report, two sources familiar with the matter revealed that the company had approached advisers to start discussions on a listing, most likely in the US.

Ninja Van did not disclose its valuation but one of them claimed that they had passed a US$1 billion (S$1.36 billion) valuation following its US$279 million funding round last year.

The seven-year-old startup is at an almost break-even rate and is targeting profitability in 2022. According to VentureCap data, it posted a US$84.1 million loss in 2019, on the back of US$149.3 million in revenue.

Backed by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital, Ninja Van’s growth in revenue and orders has surged thanks to an e-commerce boom fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its daily shipments has grown from 1 million in May 2020, to 1.7 million in July 2021.

Battling for a slice of the logistics pie

ninja van co-founders
(L-R) Tan Bo Xian, Lai Chang Wen and Shaun Chong, co-founders of Ninja Van / Image Credit: Ninja Van

Founded in 2014, Ninja Van is headquartered in Singapore and is operational in five other regional markets: Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Its IPO plans come as another logistics startup, Lalamove, filed for a US listing in June, but is now said to be weighing an IPO in Hong Kong instead.

The logistics market is getting more saturated as many other companies in the region are making their way into this space, including ride-hailing companies Gojek and Grab, as well as Malaysian airlines AirAsia.

E-commerce companies such as Shopee and Lazada are also ramping up their investments to build their own logistics.

Ninja Van hopes to set itself apart through its extensive delivery networks. Lai said the company’s couriers can deliver to Southeast Asia’s most remote regions, which most competitors cannot access on a large scale. It has used motorcycles, boats, and even water buffaloes to deliver its parcels.

In a past interview with Vulcan Post, Lai placed an emphasis in continuing to finetune their operations through technology in order to always stay one step ahead.

Some of the irons in Ninja Van’s fire include helping current offline-only retailers to increase their online presence, and virtually connecting sales personnel with their customers.


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Featured Image Credit: HRM Asia

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