The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is considering a capital injection of up to $30 million in Best Logistics Technologies (BLT), a Chinese logistics business that is a partly-owned associate firm of the Alibaba Group – as part of a $700 million pre-IPO funding round.
Founded in 2007 by Johnny Chou, formerly co-president of Google China, the Hangzhou-based company’s operates as a logistics supply chain services provider and enabler.
Core business operations include providing express, less-than-truckload (LTL) freight and supply chain management services focused on the e-commerce sector. Additionally, Best Logistics offers financing to supply chain vendors, cross-border logistics and last-mile services to improve the efficiency of logistics services.
According to an IFC release, the new investment will fund corporate expansion and acquisitions, in order to achieve the appropriate scale for a planned initial public offering (IPO).
The Asian Venture Capital Journal (AVCJ) has noted that BLT received an investment from Walden International and CDH Investments in 2010. Other investors in the firm are the Alibaba Group through Alibaba Capital Partners, the Hina Group, Walden International, Foxconn Technologies, China Renaissance Capital Investments, IDG Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs.
There is increasing interest in China’s logistics sector amongst investors, with private capital being infused into various firms originating from sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and private equity funds; warehousing providers and third-party logistics firms are popular targets.