Flash Express is a two-year-old logistics start-up in Thailand, according tomedia reports. The company said on Monday it had raised $200m in a new round of funding as it spurred redouble its efforts in the fast-growing market spurred by the new crown pandemic.
The funding is a round D financing led by PPT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited, a listed company in the oil and retail business of PPT, a Thai state-owned enterprise group. Durbell and Krunsri Finnovate, two other top corporate groups in southeast Asia, are also involved in the round, which brings Flash Express’s funding to date to about $400m.
Flash Express, which operates on-the-go pick-up and delivery services, claims to be the second largest private company in the sector. The start-up, which also counts Alibaba as an investor, entered the market with a delivery fee of as little as 60 cents per package, a move that quickly gained it a large market share.
The start-up has also been expanding aggressively over the past year. This time last year, Flash Express had about 1,100 distribution points. It now has more than 5,000, surpassing the 138-year-old Thai Post.
Flash Express currently delivers more than 1 million packages a day, up from about 50,000 in the same period last year. The start-up says it has also invested heavily in technology, handling more than 100,000 packages in a minute through a fully automated sorting system.
Komsan Lee, chief executive of Flash Express, said the start-up plans to deploy new funds to launch new services and expand into other Southeast Asian markets. “We are also ready to create and develop new technologies for greater delivery and logistics efficiency. More importantly, we intend to help small and medium-sized enterprises reduce investment costs, which we believe will bring long-term benefits to Thailand’s economy as a whole in the digital age,” he said.
Rajsuda Rangsiyakull, senior executive vice president of corporate strategy, innovation and sustainability at Retail Business Public Company Limited, said the company plans to leverage Flash Express’s logistics network to meet consumer needs.
Flash Express competes with Best Express and Kerry Express, which filed for an initial public offering at the end of August.
Even though online shopping and delivery have accelerated in recent months, some estimates suggest that the overall logistics market will contract this year for the first time in history. Chumpol Saichuer, president of the Thai Transport and Logistics Association, said last month that Thailand’s logistics business had been hit hard by the global economic slowdown.