Pickupp, a Hong Kong startup, raises $15 million from billionaires and conglomerates to expand into Asia.
Pickupp, a Hong Kong-based logistics startup, announced earlier this week that it has raised approximately $15 million in funding since November to support its Asia expansion and expansion of its e-commerce platform.
Taiwanese e-commerce company PChome, Taipei-based Cornerstone Ventures, and Drive Catalyst, the corporate venture arm of Taiwan conglomerate Far Eastern Group, which is chaired by billionaire Douglas Hsu, are among the new investors. Swire Properties, a Hong Kong-based property developer, participated in the financing as well.
Other investors include Hong Kong-based Zipx, led by James Steinberg, a member of this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list; Cathay Venture, the corporate venture arm of Taiwan-based Cathay Financial, led by billionaire Tsai brothers; and Hong Kong-based conglomerate Jardine Matheson Group.
Pickupp operates in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore at the moment. For last-mile delivery in Taiwan, the startup has partnered with PChome. Pickupp cofounder and CEO Crystal Pang said in a phone interview that the five-year-old startup is also interested in collaborating with investors in Hong Kong who require logistics services.
“I believe this would be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our ability to add value and provide flexible and highly transparent delivery solutions for any business sector,” Pang says.
Additionally, the funding enables Pickupp to seize opportunities created by the exploding growth of e-commerce during the pandemic era. According to market research firm Forrester, online retail sales in the Asia-Pacific region will increase from $1.5 trillion in 2019 to $2.5 trillion in 2024.
Additionally, Pickupp saw an increase in demand for cross-border deliveries, such as those between Taiwan and Hong Kong. Prior to the pandemic, Hong Kong residents would fly to Taiwan, only an hour away, to bring home Taiwanese goods.
“Because people are more willing to experiment with new websites and e-commerce players, making cross-border e-commerce affordable and feasible for [small- and medium-sized enterprises] and individuals is critical,” Pang adds. “This demand is unlikely to diminish any time soon.”
Pickupp launched Shop On Pickupp, an e-commerce mobile platform that enables small businesses to go online, earlier this year. Pickupp intends to operate in ten markets in Asia within the next three to five years, owing to the pandemic’s acceleration of e-commerce growth. “I don’t believe we have a specific next city on the horizon at the moment, but we do work with a number of partners,” Pang says. “Even though we do not have an office in these locations, we are already acquiring volumes from them.”
Pang and Eric San, both former Uber employees, cofounded Pickupp in 2016, along with Paco Chan, a 2017 30 Under 30 Asia honoree who previously worked at Procter & Gamble. The startup currently serves over 20,000 merchants across Asia through a network of 80,000 registered agents.
Pickupp raised an undisclosed funding round in 2019 led by the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund and including Spark Ventures and Axis Capital Partners of Hong Kong.