Ant Financial co-leads $114m funding in Chinese logistics firm Keking

Shanghai-headquartered cloud-based logistics services provider Keking has completed a RMB1 billion ($144-million) Series C funding round led by Alibaba’s Ant Financial and Centurium Capital.

Other investors including Sequoia Capital China, Tebon Securities and Shanghai Tengyi Industrial also participated in the financing.

Keking had earlier raised a RMB100 million Series A round from Sequoia in 2015, which then in 2016 joined a RMB200 million Series B investment in the firm with participation from AVIC Trust, Tebon Securities and China Fellow Partners.

The Series C round comes at a time when Alibaba plans to invest over RMB100 billion in a smart logistics network. The e-commerce giant has been seriously betting on logistics, having acquired a majority ownership in subsidiary company Cainiao for nearly $810 million.

With the funding in Keking, their strategic partnership will create a platform of data, technology and financial services that best suits micro, small and medium enterprises as well as the drivers.

The total cost of logistics in China was RMB12 trillion in 2017, accounting for about 15 per cent of the country’s GDP, much higher than that of developed markets in Europe and America, Keking said, in a statement.

Small businesses and individuals in the logistics industry lack collateral options, informatisation and financial transparency, according to the firm.

“Keking leverages the opportunity that the Internet offers to promote the digitalisation of the logistics industry, solving the high transportation costs and financing issues for small logistics enterprises,” said Zhang Shiwei, founder and CEO of Keking.

The company’s platform integrates fully online services of transportation management, including cargo and vehicle management, capital settlement management, and credit scoring of logistics business partners and drivers, to provide inclusive financial services such as freight and truck installments.

Established in 2015, Keking said it had served more than 10,000 micro and small logistics companies and 1 million drivers across 25 provinces in China. Its annual billing is about RMB70 billion.

 

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