Flash raises B15bn in Series F round

Flash raises B15bn in Series F round

“Flash’s overseas revenue is expected to be on par with domestic earnings by 2023.” — Komsan Lee, Cheif executive, Flash Group

Flash Group, which provides e-commerce logistics services, including the delivery service Flash Express, recently raised 15 billion baht in its Series F funding round as it gears up to expand business overseas and drive its live-commerce business.

The startup unicorn said it has become the leader of the express delivery market as it handled 700 million parcels last year. It set its sights on launching an initial public offering (IPO) within three years.

“We have already secured Series F funding from existing investors with 15 billion baht,” said Komsan Lee, chief executive of Flash Group, which is now valued at 70 billion baht.

The new funding will be used to invest in automation and overseas expansion in Asean.

The company now has express delivery services in Thailand, Laos, the Philippines and Malaysia.

In Thailand, it aims to expand fulfillment space from 100,000 square metres to 1 million sq m, including 300,00 sq m it developed with real estate SC Asset.

Mr Komsan said the Philippines is a high growth market with a large population and strong spending in e-commerce and Flash aims to be among the top two players in the market this year.

The company will also focus on growing e-commerce-related business, particularly live commerce under its subsidiary F Commerce.

F Commerce provides a range of services, including live commerce through multi-channel networks (MCN), managing online advertising for brands, the use of influencers and celebrities to help brands sell products through live-streaming via multiple platforms across e-marketplaces and social media.

Mr Komsan said the company will earn commission fees from the services while driving engagement with Flash delivery among users and brands.

Flash is one of the three partners of TikTok for delivery services and advertising. Some 700,000 parcels were shipped from orders made on TikTok last year.

F Commerce has connected with 300-400 influencers and the number is expected to reach 1,000 this year.

F Commerce is the firm’s engine growth and its gross merchandise value is expected to grow 10 times this year.

According to Mr Komsan, the e-commerce segment faced a challenging time last year due to less spending on marketing from e-marketplaces and low consumer spending.

Spending per order dropped 15% on average, which also took a toll on logistics services.

The courier segment also faced an increase of 30-40% in fuel costs and other expenses in relation to Covid-19 prevention among its workforce.

Flash Group was estimated to see a flat growth or even a single-digit decline in 2022, compared with 2021, he said. More than 20 million baht in losses was likely last year, versus a profit of 6 million baht in 2021.

According to Mr Komsan, Flash has become the No.1 player in express delivery business in Thailand as it handled 700 million parcels last year or 2 million a day.

Flash’s overseas revenue is expected to be on par with domestic earnings by 2023 and the share from overseas is expected to surpass 50% in 2024, he said.

“We aim to issue an IPO in the next three years but we will also have to make the next round of funding before the IPO too. We will select the country where the IPO will be launched to ensure the best value for our stock,” said Mr Komsan.

Mr Komsan said he is uncertain whether the firm will be back in profit this year but the country’s reopening could help boost purchasing power.

According to him, the company has been gearing up for expansion of Flash Money services since last year by providing loans for corporate partners. This digital lending service will reach customers by 2023.

Flash Group aims to increase the number of staff from 500,000 to 70,000 by this year.