Logistics on-demand service GoGoVan became Hong Kong’s first billion-dollar startup via a merger last year, and now is doubling down on growth after raising $250 million in new capital.
The new round was led by InnoVision Capital, with participation from the Russia-China Investment Fund, Hongrun Capital and Qianhai Fund of Funds. Two other notable investors include Alibaba’s Cainiao logistics subsidiary — Alibaba is already an investor via its Hong Kong entrepreneurship fund — and 58 Daojia Group, the parent of the ’58 Suyun’ business that merged with GoGoVan.
There’s more capital coming soon it seems, with GoGoVan saying in an announcement that the $250 million is “the first phase of its new round of funding.” Despite reaching unicorn status via the merger, GoGoVan didn’t disclose a valuation for this new round.
The company plans to use the money to expand its business into new markets, and in particular India and Southeast Asia, having focused on China primarily to date. Together with 58 Suyun, GoGoVan claims to cover 300 cities with some eight million registered users and 2,000 staff.
The service itself is anchored around short distance logistics and trips, but GoGoVan CEO Steven Lam explained that the company plans to soon introduce a door-to-door option and other offerings that “simplify logistics and delivery services.”
GoGoVan’s main rival is Lalamove, a fellow Hong Kong-based logistics startup. Lalamove raised $100 million last year at a valuation of nearly $1 billion. While GoGoVan’s exit was its merger, Lalamove is looking to remain independent and it has begun thinking about an IPO, which could take place in Hong Kong, its head of international Blake Larson told TechCrunch.
GoGoVan and Lalamove are two of the last that remain standing from what was once a very cluttered field as the rise of Uber saw dozens of companies sprout up as an ‘Uber for logistics’ services. The secret to their survival? Getting deep into the Chinese market is one crucial factor, but from talking to the two companies over the years, both cast the ‘Uber for X’ buzzword aside and concentrated on working with SMEs and repeat business customers rather than the shallow (and fickle) consumer market.