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Thai food delivery app Line Man Wongnai weighs IPO in Thailand, US in 2025

Line Man Wongnai, an on-demand food delivery service in Thailand, is considering an initial public offering on a Thai exchange or the U.S. in 2025, the company’s CEO and co-founder, Yod Chinsupakul, said in an exclusive interview with TechCrunch.

Line Man Wongnai has yet to finalize where it will launch the IPO, but a dual-listing in Thailand and the U.S. is not off the cards, Chinsupakul said.

The company is backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC; Z Holdings, a joint venture formed by SoftBank and South Korean internet firm, Naver; and BRV Asia, among others. It has raised more than $372 million in total and has a valuation of more than $1 billion.

“We are focused on continued business execution and restructuring as key priorities ahead of the potential IPO, and we will continue to assess our capital structure and financing needs, including various fundraising options,” Chinsupakul said.

Image Credits: Line Man Wongnai

The company’s differentiators, according to Chinsupakul, are its strategic partnerships with Line, and its understanding of customer behavior, local merchants, delivery personnel and the regulatory environment.

Wongnai started off as a restaurant review platform in 2010. In 2020, it merged with Line Man, which offers food and grocery delivery, on-demand ride-hailing, and a messenger app. Then in 2023, the company acquired Rabbit Line Pay (RLP), an online and offline payment platform, and FoodStory, a Thai point of sale (POS) startup. The company says the acquisitions strengthened its revenues and broadened its customer base.

The merger with Line Man was a significant milestone for Wongnai, as Line is Thailand’s most popular messaging app — used by more than 90% of Thais, the app has over 50 million users in the country, Chinsupakul said. What sets the startup apart from its competitors, according to the CEO, is its ability to leverage Line’s massive user base, as many of the app’s users choose to make payments through the linked Line payments app.

Today, the company offers everything from food and grocery delivery and restaurant reviews, to a payments platform, POS for merchants, and ride-hailing — taking on competitors like Grab in the country.

“Our history has proven that we are nimble and have the ability to execute strategic M&A. We always assess potential investment opportunities in pursuit of our strategic objectives, which may include potential investment and/or M&A if it supports our longer-term goals. We are very open,” Chinsupakul said.

The CEO said the company is intent on growing its POS business for merchants and the payments service.

“Those two other businesses are relatively smaller than our food delivery business [as we are a latecomer], so we want to grow them multiple-fold,” Chinsupakul said. The company will continue to invest in growing its tech team, particularly on the data and AI side, he added.

Line Man Wongnai faces tough competition in the food delivery space in Thailand from Singapore’s Grab and Indonesia’s GoTo, which have their own super apps and offer e-commerce services, too.

Currently, GrabFood leads the food delivery market in Thailand with a substantial 56% market share, closely followed by Line Man Wongnai at 53%. Shopee comes in at No. 3, followed by Siam Commercial Bank (SCB)’s Robinhood as of April 2023, according to a report by Statista.

Room to grow in Thailand

Chinsupakul pointed out that the penetration of online food and grocery delivery is low in Thailand and there is ample room for growth. In February 2024, the penetration rate of online food delivery in Thailand stood at 27.14%, while that of grocery delivery was at 17.34%.

As for ride-hailing services, Chinsupakul said people in Thailand still use on-demand taxi services via apps, but the online-only market could be bigger. Ride-hailing apps’ user penetration in the market is expected to reach 19.8% this year, per Statista.

When asked if the company aims to become a super app like Grab and GoTo, Chinsupakul said Line Man Wongnai is aiming higher. “A super app is for the consumer side only, but Line Man Wongnai’s services are for both consumers and merchants. We are more of a combination of Meituan and WeChat Pay.”

The company wants to focus on the Thailand market at this point and is not considering expanding into other Southeast Asian countries before going public.

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