The round was led by a fund under Abraaj, which is a Dubai-based private equity investment firm, and saw participation from return backer Singapore-based venture capital company Monk’s Hill Ventures and new investors B Capital Group and YJ Capital.
Launched in June 2014, Ninja Van, which has operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, will use the funds to expand its services into new markets like Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines by end-2016, and triple its customer service headcount across all markets.
The company did not disclose how many employees it currently has throughout the region, but noted that it has signed on more than 3,000 clients across different sectors and delivers around 15,000 parcels a day. Its clients include Lazada, Zalora and Qoo10, according to an interaction its CEO Lai Chang Wen had with Tech in Asia.
In March 2015, the startup announced raising a Series A round of $2.5 million from Monk’s Hill Ventures, with participation from Malaysian investment holding firm Insas Berhad and other regional corporates.
Omar Lodhi, Partner and Head of Asia for The Abraaj Group, said, in a statement, “Ninja Van is an innovative business that has developed an efficient logistics operation underpinned by strong technology and has grown tremendously in the past two years. We are impressed by Ninja Van’s technology platform, management and operational capabilities, and believe they are leading in a sector where innovation is required to succeed.”
Abraaj has invested in 28 companies in Southeast Asia, including the latest injection of funds into Ninja Van. The company claims to have deployed more than $1.4 billion in a number of industries within Asia, including healthcare, financial services, logistics, e-commerce, consumer goods and food and beverage.
Within the logistics sector, Abraaj had previously invested in Urbano, a courier and light logistics company in Peru, Ecuador and El Salvador, and Aramex, a Dubai-based firm focussed on international shipping services.
Lodhi added, “Last-mile logistics, which is the backbone of e-commerce, remains a bottleneck, and Ninja Van is well-positioned to enhance the e-commerce experience for customers and businesses. As a key enabler of e-commerce businesses, Ninja Van plays an important role in the development of retail, jobs and entrepreneurship in the region and we are excited to partner with them.”
Ninja Van allows brands and their customers to track delivery parcels in real-time via an online dashboard and pay for deliveries in cash, beyond credit card and other online payment options. It has also established ‘Ninja Collect’, a way for consumers to pick up their packages at their own convenience; customers will receive a passcode that they will be able to use at automated parcel lockers and partner retail shops to retrieve their goods.
Lai, who also founded a number of other ventures including custom menswear startup Marcella, said, “While maintaining a strong core fleet and customer support systems, now any store can be a Ninja Collect point and draw online foot traffic, anyone can deliver parcels during their spare time as a fleet partner, and any corporate fleet can tap into our fleet management systems and augment their spare capacity with our parcels.”
The release further noted that the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be finalised by end-April 2016.