Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Group stated that its unit Teleport will be jointly investing a whopping $10.6mn with a venture capital firm in a joint venture. The investment will be going into EasyParcel, an e-commerce and delivery company that handles บริการส่งของด่วน across the region, with the aim of boosting logistics businesses.
EasyParcel, which has about half a million users, will be using the investment, part of their Series B funding to expand their service offerings for small- and medium-scale businesses, according to a statement from AirAsia. The airline also said that Teleport’s logistics network, as well as AirAsia’s flights and cargo capacity, will be available for EasyParcel to utilize.
AirAsia Group Chief Executive Tony Fernandes says that he’s always believed that AirAsia’s logistics business can do more than provide บริการส่งของด่วน, but also become a huge part of the social and e-commerce ecosystem, and this recent investment is them taking that opportunity with the help of EasyParcel.
Teleport will be funding EasyParcel from retained earnings, while the other major investor, Gobi Partners, will be pouring money into the company via the Meranti Asean Growth Fund, a Southeast Asian investment fund aimed primarily at cloud services, e-commerce, and financial technology.
The funding from these two companies will go a long way in strengthening the company’s reach in its current markets, which include Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, as noted by CEO Clarence Leong.
In the Southeast Asian market, where e-commerce is steadily growing, logistics is becoming more and more important. Growth in the sector is being capitalized on in the region, particularly with last-mile deliver channels for online goods. Malaysia alone saw around 100 courier services firms backed by wealthy logistics players moving into the country’s บริการส่งของด่วน market.
AirAsia’s latest investment comes just as the airline is seeing stiff competition that’s cutting on its profits in spite of an upsurge in traffic. The Southeast Asia’s cutthroat aviation industry has forced the airline to put some of its regional expansion plan on hold, sell a few assets, as well as shift into a tech-driven company for long term operations.