Lalamove, an Uber-like service for transporting goods across cities in China and southeast Asia, has raised $10 million to expand beyond the six cities where it already operates, TechCrunch reported on Monday (Jan. 5).
The Series A round was led by China’s Crystal Stream Capital along with Geek Founders, Mindworks Ventures, Sirius Venture Capital and Aria Group. Several individual investors who weren’t named also took part, the company said.
The new funding will be used to strengthen Lalamove’s position in its existing markets — Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Taipei, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — and to “further penetrate” China and enter more parts in Southeast Asia, Lalamove executive Blake Larson told TechCrunch. (In China and Hong Kong, the year-old startup is known by its original name, EasyVan.)
Lalamove’s iOS and Android apps let customers move items across a city using its network of “regular” drivers. The business model is basically “Uber for logistics,” since anyone with a valid license and car can sign up to be a driver. Lalamove customers can also use Tencent’s popular WeChat messaging app, which has become a standard venue for on-demand services including retail, food delivery and taxi-hailing services.
While Lalamove’s chief rival when it started was Hong Kong-based GoGoVan, that company has yet to branch out to other cities. But GoGoVan raised a $6.5 million round and took an additional $10 million investment from Chinese social network Renren last year, and now says it plans to move into Japan, China and Southeast Asia in 2015.