On August 28, Shansong Express, a Chinese logistics startup that provides intra-city express delivery service, also known as FlashEX or ishansong.com, raised USD 60 million in the first tranche of a Series D funding round led by venture capital firms N5 Capital, V Star Capital, and Shihaisong Capital.
SIG, Shunwei Capital, BHG Long Hills Capital, Hearst Ventures, and Lighthouse Venture Capital also participated in the round, according to Shansong Express’s announcement on its official WeChat account.
The startup is valued at over USD 1 billion after the latest funding, making it the latest unicorn in China.
Founded in 2014, Shansong specializes in online to offline (O2O) to-customer (2C) delivery services in a number of urban locations within a city, guaranteeing a 60-minute or less delivery time to destinations within five kilometres of the collection point.
In the last four years, Shansong has closed eight funding rounds from venture capital firms such as CDH Investments, JD Capital, Lighthouse Venture Capital, and Shunwei Capital (Chart 1).
In June 2017, Shansong raised a USD 50 million series C+ round led by Shunwei Capital and Beijing Hualian Group. Earlier, it received USD 50 million in a series C round from SIG and Prometheus Capital.
From 2014 to 2016, the inner-city logistics venture secured an undisclosed Angel round from MatrixPartners China, series A round from CDH Investments, USD 50 million series B round led by JD Capital, and series B+ round from Tiantu Capital.
Shansong is prominent for its quick processes such as ordering in an average of 1 minute, initial pick-up in 10 minutes, and 60 minutes for intra-city delivery, according to the Chinese tech news site 36kr.com. The service is provided round the clock with the delivery items ranging from documents, flowers, foods, gadgets, groceries, medicines, and even keys.
As of August, Shansong has over 100 million users and operates in 222 cities in China, with the number of deliverers or so-called FlashRiders reaching 480,000.
China’s intra-city delivery was the fastest-growing sector among a variety of logistics businesses, with an annual revenue growth rate of 44% from 2008 to 2015. It is expected that the market will reach over CNY 200 billion (USD 29 billion) in 2020, according to China’s State Post Bureau.