Ninja Van gets Alibaba backing
October 22, 2021
In just 5 years, three friends built a multi-million express delivery business that covers Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, Myanmar and Brunei. Lai Chang Wen, Tan Bo Xian and Shaun Chong of Singapore are on their way to add Ninja Van to their country’s list of unicorns when the Alibaba Group backed their latest funding round which raised US$578 million. Ninja Van announced that the money will be used to sustain the cost of their growing infrastructure and logistics operations.
The three logistics startup entrepreneurs gave up their jobs in 2014 to try their luck in the e-commerce market that was booming in Southeast Asia. They were convinced there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They are multi-millionaires now. The trio began their journey with a men’s fashion online business and used third party delivery services. Finding that unsatisfactory, they bought a second hand van and found a hungry market for last mile delivery logistics. E-commerce was booming but the execution of delivery was wanting. The first ones to launch technology-based platforms for express deliveries would have a head start among the region’s traditional lagging logistics network. The boys grabbed the opportunity, got backers who believed in their plan and they were on their way. Speed in entering into markets in Southeast Asia was vital to get pole positions before the burgeoning competition jostles in. So within 2 years Ninja Van was in 6 countries.
Ninja Van delivers 2 million parcels a day in the region. Lai Chang Wen,32, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ninja Van Group. He graduated with a Bachelor of Finance from Singapore Management University. He worked as a derivatives trader at Barclays before venturing out into the men’s online fashion business. Tan Bo Xian is the Chief Operating Officer of Ninja Van operations across the region. Shaun Chong is the Chief Technology Officer of Ninja Van. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the National University of Singapore. Prior to co-founding Ninja Van, Shaun was lead engineer at Ubefy, a technology startup focusing on cloud platforms and infrastructure.
In Malaysia, Ninja Logistics Sdn Bhd is headed by CEO, Adzim Halim.
- Reuters. 26 September 2021. Anshuman Daga. https://www.reuters.com/business/ninja-van-raises-578-mln-funding-round-adds-alibaba-investor-2021-09-26/
- Nikkei Asia. 27 September 2021.Dylan Loh. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-deals/Alibaba-backs-Singapore-s-Ninja-Van-in-578-million-fundraising
- Ninja Van. https://www.ninjavan.co/en-my/about-us
- CNBC, Make it. 6 February 2020. Karen Gilchrist. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/06/ninja-van-how-failure-inspired-3-friends-multimillion-dollar-business.html
- Forbes. 27 September 2021. Jonathan Burgos. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanburgos/2021/09/27/ninja-van-becomes-singapores-newest-unicorn-after-raising-578-million-from-alibaba-b-capital/?sh=103f611d366f
- Business Today. 27 September 2021. Extraordinary Growth In E-commerce A Boon For Malaysia: Ninja Van CEO | BusinessToday