Beijing-based logistics startup FlashEx, also known as Shansong, said on Tuesday that it closed its Series D2 round raising USD 125 million from investors including Shunwei Capital, Susquehanna International Group (SIG), and N5 Capital.
Founded in 2014 and profitable since 2016, the firm fulfills urgent on-demand orders in 222 cities in China. In the first close of the Series D round in August 2018, FlashEx collected USD 60 million. According to its website, a total of 200,000 corporate clients have now signed up for the service. Celebrities, such as pop song singer Jay Zhou and film actor Wang Baoqiang, have promoted the brand.
“FlashEx has digitally innovated a seemingly traditional industry in the mobile internet sector, leveraging on algorithms and big data,” said Tim Gong, managing director of SIG Asia Investment.
In Beijing, deliveries start from RMB 16 (USD 2.4) for goods lighter than 5 kilograms within a radius of 5 kilometers. For comparison, the base price of a taxi ride is RMB 13. The firm has become popular among gig workers and managed to increase the number of daily active deliverymen from 490,000 to above 1 million since 2018.
“FlashEx allows me to earn about RMB 50 for each order I pick up, while on Ele.me, the income for each request could be as low as RMB 4,” a driver surnamed Song told KrASIA.
“Since it was founded, FlashEx has always adhered to its positioning as urgent delivery service provider,” said Leo Zheng, founder and CEO of its advisor Lighthouse Capital.
While FlashEx has been the most well-known brand in the space, companies such as Meituan, Ele.me, Dada, Didi Chuxing, UU Paotui, Feimao Paotui are providing similar services.