Series D bolsters Flash's Asean push
Flash Express, a local express delivery service, is gearing up to become an e-commerce enabler and gain a foothold in other Asean countries after receiving Series D funding worth 3 billion baht.
The major investors in the funding were three large Thai enterprises: PTTOR, the flagship oil and retail arm of Thai conglomerate PTT; consumer goods distributor Durbell; and Bank of Ayudhya's corporate VC arm Krungsri Finnovate.
The move is expected to intensify an already contentious delivery and logistics market amid the rise of e-commerce.
Key rival Kerry Express stated in August its intention to go public. The company, which was established in 2006, will become the first parcel delivery firm to launch an IPO on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index.
Komsan Lee, chief executive of Flash Express, said Covid-19 has brought about strong growth in e-commerce, making shipping and delivery very popular in the market.
Flash Express has more than 23,000 employees with an average of 100 new hires every day, he said.
The company aims to carry out a promotional campaign worth 100 million baht, including a reduction of the starting delivery fee from 25 baht to 18 baht.
It handles 1.2 million parcels a day and aims to push it up to 2 million soon.
The fundraising of 3 billion baht by three large Thai firms will help develop new business models that could support e-commerce expansion, Mr Lee said.
"We aim to develop shipping and delivery into a business ecosystem that can fully integrate with the supply chain, as well as build shipping and delivery's role in driving forward business in other service industries," he said.
"This joint investment is a strategic expansion into new S-curve sectors, namely energy and logistics, as well as consumer products and finance to ultimately create market strength. It is also an opportune time to change digital 4.0 trends and enable the lifestyles of our customers to further evolve."
Mr Lee said the company is gearing up to build and expand into new business, including financial platforms or merging e-payment into the delivery system for a more complete e-commerce experience.
In the final quarter, he said, Flash Express will be focusing on expansion into Asean countries by creating new delivery platforms that can connect these countries and Thailand.
The company wants to introduce a new e-commerce platform that "will be the first technologically advanced step towards elevating shipping and delivery in Thailand to international standards," said Mr Lee.
Flash Express is also taking on new megaprojects along with its investment allies.
The company aims to raise US$200 million or around 6 billion baht in the Series D funding round when it closes.
Flash Express has more than 23,000 employees with an average of 100 new hires every day.