Lalamove, a Hong Kong-based start-up logistics company, has closed a $ 300 million Series D round as it seeks to expand in Asia. In doing so, the company officially entered the club of unicorns.
Founded in 2013 by Shing Chow, a Stanford graduate, Lalamove provides logistics and delivery services in a style similar to that of mobile phone applications like Uber, but is primarily aimed at businesses and businesses. This gives it a more favorable economy and a more loyal customer base than its consumer-oriented peers, who face a cheap war to attract unstable consumers.
This new tower is divided in two, according to Lalamove, with Hillhouse Capital at the head of the "D1" and Sequoia China at the head of the "D2". The company did not reveal the size of the two pieces of the lathe. Other participating investors included the new Eastern Bell Venture Capital and PV Capital donors, as well as former investors ShunWei Capital – the company founded by Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun – Xiang He Capital and MindWorks Ventures.
The transaction brings the sum of more than $ 460 million raised to date in Lalamove, and follows a $ 100 million closing of the C Series in late 2017. Lalamove does not disclose valuation, but Blake Larson , the international manager of the company, told TechCrunch unicorn brand passed for some time [but] we simply do not talk about it. This is due to the size of the round and the fact that Lalamove was just above the $ 1 billion mark for this C series.
Lalamove's business is anchored in mainland China where it covers more than 130 cities with a network of more than two million drivers covering vans, cars and motorcycles.
Beyond China, Lalamove is present in his homeland, Hong Kong, where Uber briefly tried a similar service: Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand, where he uses the popular chat line application. In all, it covers 11 cities outside of China and this new capital will go in the direction of an expansion of this figure with additional city launches in Southeast Asia and an entry into India.
"If we do it well, we will find ourselves in countries representing more than half of the world's population," Larson said in an interview, without excluding the potential for Lalamove's expansion beyond the US. ;Asia.
It is also planned to develop business in China, both geographically and in terms of new services. Lalamove has already started offering driver services, starting with financing to help drivers buy vehicles, and is also developing business-specific offers.
Overall, the company claims to have registered 3 million drivers to date and served more than 28 million users in all cities. Its head office is located in Hong Kong and employs approximately 4,000 people.
His rival GoGoVan was merged with Chinese company 58 Suyun in 2017, for a reported valuation of $ 1 billion, but Mr. Lalamove remained independent and held firm. Larson stated that it was already profitable in "a significant number" of cities and that, in general, the master plan aimed to achieve profitability within two years of opening a new location.
"The focus has always been on sustainable growth and we are very strong in terms of cash flow," added the former Rocket Internet executive.
Larson and Lalamove have been very open in their desire to become public in Hong Kong, noting this publicly since 2017 at a TechCrunch China event in Shenzhen. This desire is still evident – "we are very proud to be from Hong Kong and Hong Kong would be a good place for an IPO," said Larson this week – but the company nonetheless said that she There was no particular plan about it, despite its consumer-centric peers, Uber and Lyft are aligning their IPOs in the US this year.
"We may not spend five minutes a year talking about it," Larsen told TechCrunch. "The discussion is really about the following points: make sure we are ready for the IPO" because sometimes it is impossible to control the macroeconomic situation. "
Clearly, investors are optimistic and it should be noted that the new wave of Lalamove comes at a time when many Chinese companies are downsizing, as Didi, Meituan and JD.com have announced cuts and refocusing strategies in the last few weeks.
"[Lalamove CEO and founder] Shing is a model for Hong Kong's new generation of innovative entrepreneurs, "said Neil Shen, founder and managing partner of Sequoia China. "Raised in Hong Kong and educated at Stanford University, Shing came back and immersed himself in the entrepreneurial wave of Internet Plus, which has become a figure of entrepreneurial success."