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‘Uber For Delivery Services’ Startup Raises 50 Million RMB Despite Competition
China’s O2O space continues to see regular and generous funding rounds despite warnings of a capital winter. On Monday, Renren Kuaidi or ‘Everyone’s Express’ (our translation), a Sichuan-based crowdsourced delivery platform, announced the completion of a 50 million RMB (about $7.7 million USD) round of Series B funding.
Founded in 2011, Renren Kuaidi began as a crowdsourcing platform for delivering lifestyle products from local boutique stores, such as cake, coffee, or flowers. Anyone on Renren Kuaidi’s app can apply to be a courier and pick up nearby delivery orders via their transportation mode of choice: bike, scooter, motorcycle, car, metro, or on foot.
In the last two years, the app has expanded to encompass a wider variety of crowdsourced services, such as ‘Help Me Buy’, where couriers not only deliver products, but purchase them at a brick-and-mortar venues. In 2015, Renren Kuaidi added an even broader service called ‘Help Me’, which lets users put in requests for almost any service, including waiting in line, moving furniture, changing light bulbs, and more. Currently, the startup takes 20% from each completed order.
Renren Kuaidi’s funding news comes less than a week after the merge of JD Daojia, the O2O affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, and Dada Nexus Limited, a crowdsourcing logistics company, was announced. The new company will continue to focus on O2O delivery services to Chinese retailers, competing in the same space as Renren Kuaidi. The delivery space in China is full of players, from express delivery companies like SF Express to food delivery startups like Sherpa’s and Ele.me, which raised $1.25 billion last Thursday.
“To guarantee a high quality of service, we’d rather expand slowly,” stated Qin Xie, the CEO of Renren Kuaidi, in the company’s press release. “Only through high quality service will we become truly competitive.”
By specializing in premium goods, such as those sold at boutique stores, the company is hoping to differentiate itself from its competitors, without having to resort to the popular cash burning subsidies employed by other O2O startups, such as Didi Chuxing and Ele.me.
Renren Kuaidi’s new round of funding will be used to expand the company’s operations and hiring, according to the company’s press release. Renren Kuaidi currently operates in 27 cities around China and previously raised a 15 million RMB (about $2.3 USD) round of Series A funding led by Tencent.