All you need to know about high-flying Hong Kong start-ups GoGoVan and Lalamove

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 9:03am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 October, 2017, 5:45am

It has been more than a month since logistics company GoGoVan became the first Hong Kong start-up to be valued at more than US$1 billion, and now rival Lalamove has staked its claim as the city’s next “unicorn” after raising US$100 million from a new round of funding.

A unicorn is a start-up valued at a US$1 billion or more. Here are five things everyone should know about these two companies:

Watch: Hong Kong’s high-flying start-ups

FOUNDERS:

Young entrepreneurs Steven Lam Hoi-yuen, Nick Tang Kuen-wai and Reeve Kwan Chun-man established GoGoVan in 2013, following their initial work on a small lunchbox delivery service.

A graduate of Stanford University, Chow Shing-yuk founded Lalamove in 2013 after working in a management consulting job at Bain & Company and spending a stint as a professional poker player. Lalamove was previously known as EasyVan.

THE BUSINESSES:

Both GoGoVan and Lalamove compete in the on-demand, small goods logistics market, creating separate ordering platforms to match delivery van drivers with millions of users in Hong Kong and other markets across Asia.

PATHS TO UNICORN STATUS:

GoGoVan merged with 58 Suyun, the freight business of mainland Chinese online classified giant 58 Home.

Lalamove raised US$100 million in a new funding round led by ShunWei Capital, a venture capital firm co-founded by Xiaomi chief executive Lei Jun, to lift its valuation at close to US$1 billion.

STRATEGIES:

GoGoVan and Lalamove are both moving aggressively to expand their operations into regional on-demand logistics powerhouses.

Lalamove currently operates in 100 cities on the mainland and claims to be the market leader in terms of transaction volumes. Its other markets include Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines.

Before its merger with 58 Suyun, GoGoVan already set up a sprawling online logistics and freight operation in 14 cities across Asia. The merger allows it to quickly establish operations in 300 mainland cities.

EARLY INVESTORS:

GoGoVan counted Centurion Private Equity, Renren, former 91 Wireless chief executive Hu Zemin, Singapore Press Holdings and the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.

Lalamove had Crystal Stream Capital, Mindworks Ventures, AppWorks, Blackhole Capital and Xianghe Capital.