Ninja Van raises $30M to build a regional logistics network in Southeast Asia

An e-commerce revolution is imminent in Southeast Asia after Alibaba’s investment in Lazada, but who is going to power the unsexy, unappreciated but ultimately essential service of delivery?nv1

Right now, the region’s logistics is fairly scattered with the top firms differing from country to country and that’s where a startup called Ninja Van hopes to make a difference. The Singapore-based company today announced $30 million Series B round aimed at building it into the go-to partner for anyone selling online in Southeast Asia.

No regional partner

Two-year-old Ninja Van is essentially a plug-and-play logistics partner that gives e-commerce companies reach to customers across Southeast Asia. That might sound simplistic — the company does say it is “powered by proprietary cloud-based technology” — but the idea is to make the challenging issue of logistics partnerships in Southeast Asia simple.

While the region is attractive for its cumulative population of over 550 million people and an emerging middle class that is already mobile internet savvy, the day-to-day process of managing a business in Southeast Asia’s six biggest countries is like running, well, six different businesses. Logistics is an essential component of e-commerce — the final loop with customers — so picking the right partner in six markets requires six different research efforts, six different partnership decisions and six relationships to manage.