Line Man Wongnai eyes IPO in 2-3 years

Line Man Wongnai eyes IPO in 2-3 years

Aims to strengthen competitiveness

A delivery worker from Line Man Wongnai picks up an order amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
A delivery worker from Line Man Wongnai picks up an order amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Line Man Wongnai, the operator of a food delivery service, aims to launch an initial public offering (IPO) within the next 2-3 years, as part of a way to strengthen its competitiveness in the highly contentious segment.

Meanwhile, the platform has ushered in measures valued at 25 million baht with the aim of assisting food merchant partners to weather this difficult period.

"Online food delivery continues to grow and orders are expected to double this year from last year that saw a fivefold increase," Yod Chinsupakul, chief executive of Line Man Wongnai said in a livestream event organised by tech media Techsauce.

He said its next goal is to embark on an IPO in the near future, or within 2-3 years.

Mr Yod earlier told the Bangkok Post that Line Man Wongnai had been considering raising funds either through venture capital or an IPO.

He said the pandemic makes it possible for Line Man Wongnai to become Thailand's first unicorn by this year. A unicorn is a startup company valued at more than US$1 billion.

The company currently has 4.3 million active users with 16 million downloads of the app and it is gearing up efforts to draw more users to the platform, particularly youngsters.

Mr Yod said he is well aware of the fierce competition in the market but the company believes it would thrive due to its three core values – faster innovation rollout, value-added services for Thais and local mindsets.

The firm has 150 engineers out of 700 employees, which could be a boon for faster innovation rollout, he said, adding: "Within 2-3 months, we will introduce new services with Line Thailand."

According to Mr Yod, the company has rolled out new measures worth 25 million baht to assist food merchants troubled by the pandemic.

Vendors who use its "Self-Delivery" feature, in which they have their own delivery fleet, and "Pickup" feature, in which customers pick up food at restaurants, will be entitled to a 5% discount of gross profit share, or commission fees.

Customers are also entitled to a 30-baht discount for a minimum order worth 100 baht with 1,000 rights granted to users a day until the end of June, he said.

The platform's free space will also be given to promote menus for 1,000 vendors this month.

Line Man Wongnai aims to increase the number of cloud kitchens from three to eight this year to cater to restaurants focusing more on online expansion to reduce costs.

Some 10 million people in Thailand are active users of food delivery services. Online food delivery is expected to make up 10% of the food market this year, up from 5% a year earlier, according to Mr Yod.

Line Man Wongnai was created through the merger of restaurant review platform Wongnai and on-demand and delivery app Line Man in September last year.

The company has 500,000 restaurants from the Wongnai database and 300,000 of them on board Line Man's system.

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