Messaging app provider Line’s Thai food unit raises $110 million to merge with restaurant platform

31, Jul. 2020

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BANGKOK, NNA - Line Man Corporation Pte. Ltd., a food delivery app launched in Thailand by Japan’s messaging app provider Line Corp., raised $110 million from BRV Capital Management to merge with a local restaurant database platform, in order to better meet growth opportunities in the sector.

Line Man, a 24-hour food delivery service app provider registered in Singapore, will receive the capital injection through third-party share allotment from BRV Capital, boosting its capital to $148 million, Line said on Thursday.

Following the capital infusion, Line Man plans to merge in early August with Wongnai Media Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-registered firm which is Thailand’s leading dining outlet database platform, the release said.

The step marks “the first time that any entity in the Line Group has secured a financial investment of this size for one of its overseas signature services,” Line said.

Line Man is currently a wholly owned unit of Line Southeast Asia Corp. Pte. Ltd., a 100 percent subsidiary of Tokyo-based Line Corp. After the new share issue, Line Man will be the surviving entity, and the parent company’s shareholding ratio will be reduced to 45.6 percent. BVR Capital’s stake was not disclosed.

Line Man operates in regions that include Bangkok, Pattaya, Samutprakarn, and Chiang Mai. It said it plans to expand to cover 15 regions within this year.

Line Man was established in Thailand in 2016. It is partnered with more than 100,000 restaurants, and offers delivery for restaurants, groceries, convenience store items and parcels, as well as messenger and taxi hailing services.

Wongnai, launched in 2010, has over 10 million users and carries the largest database of restaurants, covering over 400,000 eateries in nine Thai cities, according to the press release.

Line Man and Wongnai made a business alliance in 2016. Line Ventures Corp., a wholly owned venture capital arm of the Tokyo-based group, invested an undisclosed sum in Wongnai last year to strengthen the partnership, according to Line Corp. spokesman Takashi Toyokawa.

BRV Capital is an Asia-focused investment platform affiliated with the U.S.-based capital firm BlueRun Ventures. It operates throughout South Korea, Japan and China.