Hong Kong-headquartered on-demand delivery provider Pickupp has raised around $5 million from Reefknot, a logistics-focused fund jointly backed by state investor Temasek and Swiss logistics multinational Kuehne + Nagel.
The latest investment brings the total amount raised for its Series A and A+ round to $20 million, Pickupp said in a statement.
In July this year, the company announced that it had secured $15 million in Series A and A+ rounds since November 2020. The A+ round was led by Taiwan e-commerce giant PChome and Cornerstone Ventures.
Pickupp said it will be using the fresh funds to improve its operations and expand its services in the four markets it is present in – Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It is planning to open more satellite warehouses.
In Singapore, the startup will open at least 10 new satellite warehouses in the suburbs in the next six months. These warehouses act as dispatch points, particularly as it hopes to onboard more “walker” delivery agents. Pickupp will also be launching a new service that allows merchants to drop off their items at these dispatch points for next-day deliveries.
“The e-commerce and last-mile delivery landscape is growing at a fast pace in Singapore, with sales from year-end promotions and delivery orders expected to reach record highs in the coming months,” said Pickupp Singapore’s co-chief operating officer Lee Chee Meng.
Pointing to the uptake in e-commerce activity, especially in areas like food and groceries, Reefknot Investments’ vice-president Ervin Lim said Pickupp is able to pick up on existing e-commerce delivery providers’ slack.
“Traditional e-commerce logistics players are ill-equipped to address the rising demands of these new category players,” Lim said in a statement. “Pickupp’s technology and operational model allows for meaningful time compression at a cost-efficient price which brings a unique value proposition to the entire e-commerce logistics landscape.”
A September report by Facebook and Bain that surveyed 16,000 people in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand found that around 70 million more people shopped online in the region since the start of the pandemic.
Founded in 2016 by Uber alumnus Crystal Pang and Eric San, Pickupp offers customers deliveries that range from express two-hour courier services to one- to three-day shipments. It also has an e-commerce platform, with the option for group buys. According to the company, it has served over 20,000 merchants and onboarded over 100,000 delivery agents.
The company raised an undisclosed amount in 2019 led by the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, with participation from Hong Kong-based venture capital firms Axis Capital Partners and Spark Ventures.
Other on-demand delivery providers in Asia include Hong Kong-based firms Lalamove and GOGOX. Tech giants like Grab and Gojek also have courier services on their apps, while last-mile logistics providers like Ninja Van and J&T Express offer next-day deliveries.
Pickupp’s main niche is doing deliveries within the four-hour window, servicing businesses like florists and frozen food providers, Lee said in an interview with DealStreetAsia earlier this year.