Lalamove Officially Gains Unicorn Status

Hong Kong-based delivery startup Lalamove has reportedly raised a $300 million round of Series D funding at a +$1 billion valuation.

A Huge Southeast Asian Presence

Founded in 2013, Lalamove is a ride-haling delivery and logistics company like similar to Uber, which focusing on business and corporate clientele. The company - which operates out of mainland China - has over 2 million drivers across more than 130 cities, and boasts more than 28 million active users. Outside of China, Lalamove operates in seven other Asian countries, including Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand. The latest round of funding is anticipated to be used to further expansion into southeast Asia and India.

The Latest Large Round of Funding

The latest $300 million round of Series D funding will reportedly be split in to two halves: Hillhouse Capital will lead the ‘D1' portion, and Sequoia China will lead the ‘D2’ tranche. The exact size of each half has not been disclosed. Previous to this, Lalamove closed a $100 million round of Series C funding in 2017. To date, Lalamove has raised more than $460 million after seven rounds of funding.

Firmly in Unicorn Territory

According to reports, the latest round of funding places Lalamove firmly into unicorn status. However, according to company head of international Blake Larson, Lalamove has been, “past the unicorn mark for quite some time [but] we just don’t talk about it.” The company was reportedly just shy of a $1 billion valuation when it closed its $100 million round of Series C funding.

A 21st Century Founder and CEO

Lalamove was founded in 2013 by Stanford graduate, Shing Chow. According to Sequoia China founder and managing partner Neil Shen, “Shing is a role model for Hong Kong’s new generation of innovative entrepreneurs. Raised in Hong Kong and educated at Stanford University, Shing returned and plunged himself in the entrepreneurial wave of ‘Internet Plus,’ becoming a figure of entrepreneurial success.” By all accounts, the future seems very bright for the young CEO.


SoftBank to Invest $1 Billion in Grab

 

SoftBank is reportedly set to invest $1 billion from its Vision Fund into southeast Asian ride-hailing startup, Grab.

Grab: The Southeast Asian 'Super-app'

Currently, Grab's $11 billion valuation makes it the most valuable tech startup in southeast Asia. The company has been download over 130 million times and operates in 8 countries including Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Now with its plans to move into deliveries, healthcare, and mobile payments the company looks well-positioned to only grow stronger. Such ubiquitousness of use in the region in such varied fields has caused some to refer to the company as a, ‘super-app’.

The Company Has Investor's Attention

To date, the company has already raised over $6.5 billion after a remarkable 19 rounds of funding. In 2018 alone, the tech startup has already raised over $2.7 billion. This remarkable figure does not even include the pending $1 billion investment by SoftBank which will only increase the company’s $11 billion valuation.

SoftBank Doubles Down on Grab

This is not the first time SoftBank has invested in the company. In 2014, SoftBank was one of the early investors when it became the company's largest investor with a $250 million round. If SoftBank follows the same pattern it has when it invested in three other southeast asian tech unicorns, it will transfer the stake to its Vision Fund, then double down by investing in the company again from its Vision Fund.

How Grab Beat Uber in the Region

Grab garnered worldwide attention earlier this year when it out-maneuvered ride-share giant Uber for control of the region. After a long battle between the two companies, Grab emerged victorious when in March it successfully bought-out Uber’s southeast asian operations. This does not mean the company is without competition in the region however as Indonesian ride-share company Go-Jek raised a reported $1.2 billion earlier this year at a $9 billion valuation.

As to which ride-share company will ultimately control the booming southeast asian market remains unclear, but with the latest round of funding in place, Grab will remain positioned to do just that.