Hong Kong-based Lalamove is an on-demand logistics service, widely popular for carrying out “last-minute” deliveries in 45 cities across China and Southeast Asia. Also called Uber for logistics, it has a consumer-facing app but has been gaining higher attention from businesses particularly those in e-commerce or delivery spaces due to its efficiency and good track record.
Launched in 2013 as EasyVan, it has been revolutionizing the local logistics landscape with innovations such as instant order matching, GPS vehicle tracking, 24/7 services, and drivers rating. In the past three years, over five million customers and hundreds of thousands of professional van, motorcycle, lorry and truck drivers across Asia have used Lalamove to help their business grow.
After having raised $10 million in May last year from MindWorks and other existing investors, it has raised a whopping $30 million in series B and is considering the possibilities of a public listing.
The series B Financing round was led by Beijing VC firm Xianghe Capital, founded by former Head of Baidu M&A, Hesong Tang, with participation from Blackhole Capital and existing shareholders MindWorks Ventures and Crystal Stream. This round exceeds its previous three rounds of financing, bringing the startup’s total funding to a combined $60 million.
With the freshly raised funds, Lalamove will continue to expand vigorously in Asia. It plans to launch in an additional 60 cities by the end of 2017. It claims to maintain the largest service area in Asia for intracity delivery, with its app connects users with more than 500,000 delivery drivers. In an official statement, Shing Chow, Founder, and CEO, Lalamove, says,
Logistics is a big market – a USD 1.7 trillion market in China – and it accounts for up to 27 percent of GDP for some countries in Southeast Asia; it is underpenetrated by mobile internet. Our users have said they want faster and simpler ways to send things in their cities and we have proven that we can help them deliver anything in less than an hour.
He says the evolution of the logistics industry has not been as rapid as some other markets like communication, but he believes we are at a tipping point where transformation will now happen very rapidly. He looks forward to witnessing some amazing companies being built in this sector.
Lalamove’s fast-paced growth is largely attributed to the key partnerships with the world’s foremost tech companies. Last year, it collaborated with communications app LINE to develop the LINE MAN app, which bestows users with the ability to quickly purchase and receive documents, packages, food and grocery items in Thailand. The startup had previously developed enterprise solutions for Google and IKEA as well.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Blake Larson, Managing Director for International at Lalamove, says, they are close to reaching profitability. He adds that it’s not easy to raise especially, in the on-demand space but they have managed to do so and this round puts them in a very strong position. Blake further states,
Already, several of our cities are profitable, we are cash flow positive and we will be profitable by end of the year.
He also mentions that they have enough money that another round is not needed, but that does not mean they won’t, and says,
We know we have a model that works [so] it’s not a matter of if we can list but when. There’s no line in the sand, but we’re in a financial position that we could list in two or two and a half years.