'Uber of logistics' Lalamove raises another US$10 million as Hong Kong start-up targets 12 more cities in China
Hong Kong-based start-up Lalamove, described by some media as the "Uber for logistics", has raised another US$10 million in funding as it attempts to grow its foothold in mainland China, it said on Tuesday.
The on-demand delivery service connects drivers of vans with potential customers in need of moving or delivery services. It operates in Hong Kong as EasyVan, mainland China as Huolala, and Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore as Lalamove.
The company will use the money, which follows another US$10 million raised earlier this year, to expand into 12 more cities in China, on top of the four it currently operates in.
Its move to penetrate the Chinese provinces of Fujian, Anhui, Guangdong, Sichuan, Zhejiang, Shandong and Hubei is set to be fully operational within the next three months, starting with Shanghai and Chongqing this week, it said.
“While very few startups thrive in both South East Asia and China markets, we are thrilled to show such growth in the past 18 months,” said Lalamove’s CEO and founder Shing Chow.
“This continuous success validates our hypothesis - delivery as it exists in Asia isn’t optimal, and bringing technology to this ageing industry reduces drivers’ idle time, increases speed and efficiency while lowering costs.”
The latest round of investment was led by Hong Kong's MindWorks Ventures and included Taiwan's AppWorks, China's Crystal Stream and individual investors.
Statistics released by Lalamove show it had more than 30,000 drivers across its various markets, with 8,000 operating in China.
The company claims to have recently sent out its one millionth delivery in the region. It said it hopes to add 50 cities throughout Asia to the company’s delivery network by the end of 2016.
“Last-mile logistics [is] booming in Southeast Asia. We find the region interesting because it is still so fragmented,” spokesman Blake Larson told TechCrunch in January.
“But any time there are these challenges, there is a higher reward for solving them.”
Lalamove's main rival GogoVan, which operates in similar markets, also raised US$10 million in June.
GogoVan, another local Hong Kong start-up, claims to offer more than 70,000 vehicles in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, China, Taiwan and Australia.
The company said at the time of its funding announcement it had seen aggregate transactions exceed US$100 million since its launch in 2013.
Uber also operates a similar van rental service in Hong Kong.