Line Man Wongnai has become Thailand’s latest rhino release after a food delivery app raised $265 million in a funding round led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC.
Japanese tech giant Line, along with Taiwan Mobile, BRV Capital Management and PTT Oil & Retail Business, contributed to the second round, boosting the company’s valuation to more than $1 billion, Line Man Wongnai said in a statement on its website. The company plans to use the new capital to strengthen its food delivery business, expand into new services and upgrade its technology infrastructure.
The startup — also backed by billionaire Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group — was founded in 2020 after integrating Line Man’s on-demand platform and Wongnai restaurant review services into an e-commerce app. It competes with Foodpanda Super Up Grab and Delivery Hero in Thailand.
Line Man Wongnai, which says it has more than 700,000 restaurants on its platform and created 100,000 delivery jobs across Thailand, has seen its business run during the pandemic as consumers holed up at home have turned to food delivery. The company said it aims to have an initial public offering (IPO) within the next few years.
At least three other unicorns have emerged from Thailand in recent years, including logistics and courier services Flash Group, digital payments company Ascend Money, and cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub.