Singapore-based logistics firm Ninja Van raises $279 million

FILE PHOTO: A Ninja Van delivery van is pictured at their office in Singapore September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - E-commerce delivery firm Ninja Van said it raised $279 million in funding from investors including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital and ride-hailing firm Grab as the COVID-19 pandemic has led more people to shop online.

The Singapore-based company has raised a total $400 million since it was launched in 2014, with operations in the city-state, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The round was led by existing investor Europe’s GeoPost alongside two sovereign wealth funds, it said in a statement on Tuesday. Other investors include Monk’s Hill Ventures and Golden Gate Ventures Growth Fund.

Ninja Van did not provide a valuation.

The company works with e-commerce firms including Alibaba’s Lazada, Indonesia’s Tokopedia and Sea Ltd’s Shopee. It plans to use the funds to dig deeper into the business-to-business sector, while growing its services for small firms and direct-to-consumer brands.

Start-ups are facing a more challenging funding and growth environment this year as the virus outbreak hits demand and turns investors cautious.

“We believe that companies like Ninja Van are built to survive and thrive throughout both strong economic climates and uncertain ones,” B Capital’s Saverin said in a statement.

Singapore has implemented a two-month long social distancing “circuit breaker” aimed at stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus that is due to last until June 1.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Jacqueline Wong