Flash Express, a two-year-old logistics startup that works with e-commerce firms in Thailand, said on Monday it has raised $200 million in a new financing round as it looks to double down on a rapidly growing market spurred by demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding, a Series D, was led by PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited, the marquee oil and retail businesses of Thai conglomerate PTT. Durbell and Krungsri Finnovate, two other top conglomerates in the Southeast Asian country, also participated in the round, which brings Flash Express’ to-date raise to about $400 million.
Flash Express, which operates door-to-door pickup and delivery service, claims to be the second largest private player to operate in this space. The startup, which also counts Alibaba as an investor, entered the market with delivery fees as low as 60 cents per parcel, a move that allowed it to quickly win a significant market share.
The startup has also expanded aggressively in the past year. Flash Express had about 1,100 delivery points during this time last year. Now it has over 5,000, exceeding those of 138-year-old Thailand Post.
Flash Express currently delivers more than 1 million parcels a day, up from about 50,000 during the same time last year. The startup says it has also invested heavily in technology that has enabled it to handle over 100,000 parcels in a minute by fully automated sorting systems.
Komsan Lee, CEO of Flash Express, said the startup plans to deploy the fresh funds to introduce new services and expand to other Southeast Asian markets (names of which he did not identify). “We are also prepared to create and develop new technologies to achieve even greater delivery and logistics efficiency. More importantly we intend to assist SMEs in lowering their investment costs which
Data analytics, deep learning, and other AI/ML applications drive multi-billion-dollar flash memory market
Virtual Flash Memory Summit (FMS), the world’s premiere flash memory conference and exposition, announces a major program track on Storage for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) Applications.
The new track features talks on storage strategies, model training, workloads, NVMe and logical volumes, persistent memory, software-defined architectures, and accelerating the GPU data path. It also includes panels on model scalability and long-term horizons, plus a keynote by Geoffrey Burr, Distinguished Researcher at IBM Almaden Research Center. Virtual Flash Memory Summit 2020 will be held on November 10-12 and expects to draw more than 6,000 attendees.
AI/ML applications require vast amounts of low latency, high-throughput flash storage. Cloud and enterprise data center architectures must be optimized to train deep neural networks and analyze petabyte-scale datasets, all while satisfying critical cost constraints.
The rapid adoption of AI/ML applications is fueling tremendous growth in demand for flash memory. According to IDC, the combined flash memory and SSD (Solid State Drive) markets will grow to almost $90 billion in 20221.
“AI/ML is the fastest-growing application in data centers today,” said Chuck Sobey, Conference Chairperson for Flash Memory Summit. “Advances like persistent memory, computational storage, QLC technology, and emerging non-volatile memories must be combined with rapid progress in 3D NAND flash to meet the needs of AI/ML for more data, faster.”
Now in its 15th year, Flash Memory Summit features the latest technology trends, the most innovative products, and the broadest coverage of this rapidly expanding market. In 2019, FMS drew over 6,000 registrants and over 120 exhibitors. The conference also features marketing and market research sessions plus sessions sponsored by NVM Express®, SNIA, and TechTarget, as well as a full-day free track by IDC on the latest market