Thai food delivery start-up Line Man Wongnai seeks new investment, considers IPO

Band Chayut Setboonsarng

BANGKOK, June 4 (Reuters)Thai food delivery start-up Line Man Wongnai said on Friday it was seeking investors to help grow the business and expand its national reach, after seeing a sharp increase in transactions mainly due to restrictions on coronavirus.

“We are in fundraising mode,” Managing Director Yod Chinsupakul told Reuters, adding that its current cycle would be open for “two to three months at most”.

In July, Line Man, the food delivery unit of Japanese chat app Line, merged with Thai restaurant aggregator Wongnai and raised $ 110 million from BRV Capital.

Yod believed the company’s valuation would exceed $ 1 billion, and that a realistic target for an initial public offering was within two to three years, and that capital markets outside of Thailand would also be examined.

Transactions on the platform have grown 5.5 times since last year, and the company aimed to cover Thailand’s 77 provinces by the end of the year, up from 55 currently.

Line Man Wongnai competes with tech giants like Grab, Go-Jek and Siam Commercial Bank’s Thailand-based food delivery units SCB.BK and True Food, owned by the telecommunications company True Corporation TRUE.BK.

Line Man Wongnai’s advantage over rivals comes from having access to 49 million users on Line’s messaging app and 600,000 restaurants in its database, which has reduced acquisition costs of customers and accelerated the addition of new restaurants, Yod said.

However, after launching its own fleet, the company had problems with its racers.

Scores protested outside his Bangkok office on Friday demanding better working conditions, such as insurance, better commission and free calls through the app.

The app has around 60,000 runners.

“They say they responded to our request, but nothing is happening,” said Line Man driver Adisorn Sinboonthu, who has driven about 80 km (49.71 miles) from his home and said that he was making around 200 baht ($ 6.40) a day after the phone and gasoline. expenses.

Earlier this week, the company said it would look into runners’ claims after a similar protest. Line Man Wongnai did not immediately respond to a Reuters request about the drivers’ requests.

($ 1 = 31.2300 baht)

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; editing by Martin Petty)

(([email protected], Twitter: @ChayutSet; +66854849033;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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