With the car-hailing wars reaching a fever pitch on China’s mainland, it’s hard to believe there’s any room left for new competitors in O2O transport. But that’s not the attitude of one Hong Kong-based startup.
Lalamove has just sealed a $10 million USD bridge round to continue its expansion in China. While the relative newcomer currently only operates in 4 cities, they want to use their latest injection to move into a further 12 cities, looking to tap 50 total by 2016.
Founded in 2013, the company has a team of drivers that can be ordered on demand through the company’s app. Like Uber, anyone can sign up to be a van driver, and its operations mimic features of its ride-hailing competitors.
Lalamove, also known as EasyVan, began with a focus on Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, though they settled a $10 million A series in January, led by Chinese investors, which could have facilitated their move to the mainland. The company has opted to separate China-side operations under different management for the time being.
In a previous interview with Tech In Asia, board member Blake Larson noted that China operations be specifically headed by the company’s CEO and Co-founder Shing Chow.
In their home market of Hong Kong, Lalamove is in direct competition with GoGoVan, another O2O van logistics startup founded in 2013. Like Lalamove the have aggressively extended outside of Hong Kong. Just this month they revealed they would be conducting an official launch in Korea.
GoGoVan also landed a $10 million USD investment from a Chinese investor last year, social networking site Renren. Though they have not made strong moves toward the Chinese market itself. In January, Uber also launched a van logistics service called Uber Cargo in Hong Kong.
Image Source: Lalamove