In an effort to start monetizing its delivery service concept, Line has launched a new segment called Line Man in partnership with Lalamove, a logistics startup.
After previewing it for weeks, the chat app finally pushed Line Man live last week for Android and iOS. App shoppers can have products delivered to them by a driver on a motorbike, like a personal butler.
Ariya Banomyong, the managing director of Line Thailand, spoke about the launch with Post and Parcel in an interview on May 16. He stated that the goal of Line Man is to help more local businesses leverage digital tools to provide on-demand delivery services to Thai residents.
Santit Jirawongkraisorn, co-founder and managing director of Lalamove Thailand, added that small- and medium-sized businesses will be the primary targets this year for Line Man.
Line Man, which will initially stay in Thailand for its pilot run, gives locals the opportunity to order food from restaurants in the database app, Wongnai. Then, products are delivered through Lalamove's fleet of motorcycles. As of now, cash payments are being accepted for the service.
However, Line Man isn't limited to just restaurants — it's marketed as a delivery service for parcel transport and grocery orders, too. The drivers who hop on the motorcycles for delivery are decked out in bright green jackets with Line's emoji characters on their backs.
On average, about 215 million of Line's registered users are active each month. Line's executives claim that the company reeled in $1.1 billion in sales in 2015.
In the U.S., Line may not be one of the most talked-about or used apps. However, the Tokyo-based app is booming across Asia. Despite just launching five years ago, Line has more than one billion global registered users.
On May 13, new research showed that Line has beaten its rivals in sales of applications available in the Google Play Store for the fourth year in a row. In terms of downloads, Facebook still ranked number one, followed by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.
Line also announced in April that it would be looking to launch its own smartphone call center using an artificial intelligence bot later in 2016.