BANGKOK: Thai logistics start-up Flash Group announced on Tuesday that its latest fundraising raised US $ 150 million, which it said had pushed its overall value beyond the 1 mark. billion dollars, reflecting increased demand for e-commerce.
The new investment comes amid strong growth in online retailing in Thailand at a time of protracted coronavirus outbreaks and social restrictions.
Flash Group chief executive Komsan Lee said one of the company’s next steps will be to expand elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Flash, founded in 2017, has not publicly disclosed a breakdown of investments in the company. Asked by Reuters about the valuation, Komsan said: “Exceeded $ 1 billion, she’s a unicorn.”
Bank of Ayudhya, which is among its investors, has confirmed the valuation of US $ 1 billion, which would make Flash Thailand the first unicorn.
Flash has approximately 7,000 delivery points and 27,000 employees and plans to add 10,000 additional employees within two years.
“The market is growing faster than existing services,” Komsan said. In a statement, Flash said the latest rounds, which ended on Tuesday, included Siam Commercial Bank’s venture capital arm, SCB 10X, Chanvanich Security Printing and Buer Capital.
These included investors returning from a previous round last year, which he said featured eWTP Capital, backed by Alibaba, TCP Group, which owns the energy drink Red Bull, PTT Oil and Retail. Business Pcl and Krungsri Finnovate, unit of the Bank of Ayudhya, which had lifted the United States. $ 200 million.
He did not provide details on previous rounds.
The capital would help expand into more communities and introduce payment services this year with its investors, Komsan said, adding that there are plans to support online merchants with loans.
Flash competes with Kerry Express Thailand, which raised US $ 270 million in an initial public offering last year.
“Payments expansion can be more difficult for a facilitator, and here the partnership could be better,” said Axel Winter, Venture Partner at Bangkok-based Alpha Founders Capital.
“They can improve cash on delivery, which is still very important in Thailand.”
(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty)