China: GLP leads $36m Series B investment in Songxiaocai

Organic peppers sit inside baskets in a greenhouse at a showcase farm operated by Penglai Hesheng Agricultural Technology Development Co. in Penglai, Shandong Province, China, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Logistics major Global Logistic Properties (GLP) has led an RMB230-million ($36 million) Series B funding round in Songxiaocai, a business-to-business (B2B) platform which offers agricultural wholesale services to Chinese retailers, according to a statement.

The funding round was also joined by IDG Capital, Matrix China Partners, and Puhua Capital. Songxiaocai provides vegetable purchase, delivery and after-sales service for retailers.

GLP currently owns and manages assets estimated at $43 billion, making it one of the largest logistics players worldwide. Its investment in Songxiaocai is motivated by the increased protein demand and formalisation of China’s food system, which buoys investments in developing cold chain facilities (i.e. refrigerated storage and transportation), given increasing consumer and government expectations for food quality and safety.

Described as the first tranche of a Series B round, proceeds from this latest financing round for Songxiaocai will finance the addition of more product verticals, product development, talent acquisition and other business development efforts.

The investment by GLP follows its delisting from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Monday, 21 January, in a privatisation process that saw it bought out for S$16 billion – the largest private equity (PE) buyout deal in Asia for 2017 – by a consortium consisting of Hopu Investment Management, Hillhouse Capital Group, Vanke Group and the Bank of China Group Investment, as well as senior management.

China’s e-commerce market is expected to continue to mature as its 4G mobile network penetration is forecast to expand to more than 60 per cent of the population.

Since 2015, China’s agricultural sector has transferred from the high-growth gold age (2004-2014) to the medium and low-speed growth stage with in-depth adjustment. A McKinsey report, “Global agriculture’s many opportunities”, notes that with annual spending of $300 billion, China is the world’s largest consumer of meat. Annual growth of 3 to 4 per cent a year is predicted, driven by the increasing demand from China’s growing middle class.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.