Exclusive: Ninja Van sells $124m of Series D shares, $89m of convertibles

Photo: Ninja Van

Singapore-based last-mile logistics player Ninja Van has raised at least $124 million of new Series D equity capital since April 2019 that includes a substantial investment from the Brunei sovereign wealth fund, according to data obtained by DealStreetAsia.

It also issued $89 million of convertible notes to existing investors Geopost SA and B Capital in 2018 and 2019, from which Ninja Van has obtained $52.4 million of equity capital following conversions at Series D pricing.

The Series D preferred shares were sold at $61.43 apiece, which is also the conversion price for the convertible notes. That is about 70 per cent above the $36.21-per-share price of its Series C shares. At the Series D pricing and the company’s total issued shares disclosed so far, Ninja Van would be worth about $590 million. In April 2019, just before Ninja Van announced the first investment by Singapore-based super app Grab Inc, the company was worth $235 million based on its Series C pricing and its total alloted ordinary and preferred shares right before Grab’s entry.

Based on the available data, Zamrud, a sovereign wealth vehicle for the Kingdom of Brunei, joined Ninja Van’s capitalisation table as the largest disclosed investor in the Series D equity round so far, with a $50 million take. Besides Zamrud and Grab, other new investors included US-based venture firm Carmenta Capital Management investing $10 million; Thailand commercial bank Bangkok Bank Public Co taking $5 million; Thailand telecommunications group Intouch Holdings Public Co subscribing for $3 million; and GxH Investments, a venture partnership between Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures and South Korea’s Hanwha Asset Management, taking $2.5 million. Grab had committed $15 million in three equal tranches to Ninja Van in April 2019, and had only fulfilled two of those tranches, or $10 million, as of January 2020.



Besides their convertible notes, France-based courier Geopost and venture firm B Capital also bought equity outright in the round. B Capital took $16.2 million of Series D shares, while Geopost bought $27.5 million of Series DD shares.

Those numbers are based on corporate filings. There could be further developments that have not yet been disclosed.

Ninja Van declined to comment for this story.

The disclosed share sales and conversions raised Ninja Van’s paid-up capital for US dollar-denominated preference shares to $294.2 million, up from $117.6 million before Grab’s first-tranche investment in April 2019.

Zamrud’s participation in the Series D round marks a rare instance of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund appearing in venture deal headlines. It coincides with Ninja Van’s plans, shared with CNBC in February, to expand into Brunei in 2020. The company already operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand.

The Brunei Investment Agency could not be reached for this story.

The Series D capital will give Ninja Van valuable cash as the global COVID-19 pandemic threatens to send the world into a global recession. Ninja Van’s financial filings showed the company with S$5.6 million of cash as at end-June 2017 and an operating cash outflow of S$13.1 million for the six months ended June 2017. Results for subsequent periods have not been filed yet.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.