Thailand has its first unicorn in Flash Group

Thailand’s start-up ecosystem has a vibrant startup scene and several innovative young firms and has produced its first unicorn in Flash Group, an e-commerce logistics firm and delivery service that achieved a valuation of over $1 billion last week in just its third year of operations.

Flash broke the Unicorn barrier by recently raising $150 million in Series D+ and E funding, pushing it over the $1 billion mark, according to its founder Komsan Lee. Flash handles over 2 million packages and parcels a day.

Komsan Lee, just 29, a young Thai business man born in the northern province of Chiang Rai, has laid out an ambitious plan to propel Flash into the top three in the logistics business in Southeast Asia within the next five years. His goal aligns neatly with the government’s desire for Thailand to serve as a regional logistics hub.

Other unicorns in the region, such as Grab and GoJek of Indonesia, began as app-driven delivery services that eventually grew into “super apps” that handle a range of services and digital payments and finance.

Komsan is the classic rags-to-riches story. Born into a less privileged family, Komsan opened his first business, a grocery store, as a freshman in university.

He went on to work as a real estate agent, freight forwarder, and then ran a logistics firm that delivers to the United States, Japan and China. He saved enough to open Flash Express in 2018 with about $11 million.

“Regardless of your economic background, which family name you have or where you graduated from, you can become a unicorn startup if you select the right industry where market size is big enough and find the right niche to work in, and have a good team,” Komsan said.

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