Logistics Startup Lalamove Goes Unicorn With $300M Investment


Lalamove, an on-demand delivery and logistics startup based out of Hong Kong, has raised $300 million in a Series D funding round, which brings its valuation to $1 billion or more, granting it unicorn status, according to reports.

The company was launched in 2013 by Stanford grad Shing Chow, and it provides services in the same manner as ride-hailing firms like Uber, except it focuses on business and corporate clients — which brings it better economics and customers that tend to be more loyal and don’t get swayed by discounts from other companies.

Blake Larson, the company’s head of international, said the company had been in unicorn status “for quite some time” but that it wasn’t discussed publicly.

The funding round is split into two parts, with Sequoia China handling the second portion and Hillhouse Capital handling the first. Other companies that invested include Eastern Bell Venture Capital, PV Capital, ShunWei Capital and MindWorks Ventures, among others.

Lalamove has raised upwards of $460 million so far, and recently received $100 million in a Series C at the end of 2017.

The company covers the mainland of China, working in 130 cities with 2 million drivers on motorcycles, and in vans and cars. It also covers 11 cities outside of China, in countries including Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. The company plans to use the new capital to expand into Southeast Asia and India.

“If we do this well, then we are in countries that are more than half the world’s population,” Larson said. He left open the possibility for future expansion outside of Asia.

Lalamove is also expanding the services it provides to include driver services, by offering financing to help with buying vehicles. It’s also working on specific corporate packages as well.

With 3 million drivers and 28 million users, the company employs about 4,000 people. While the company has expressed interest in going public in Hong Kong, it says its not in a rush to do so.

“We don’t spend maybe even five minutes a year talking about it,” Larsen. “The discussion is really ‘Let’s make sure we’re IPO ready’ because sometimes there are macroeconomic conditions you can’t control.”