YunQuNa, a global smart logistics service platform born in China, announced on Tuesday the completion of a Series D1 funding round at $100 million to achieve a unicorn valuation of over $1 billion.
Investors of the Series D1 round remained undisclosed. Beijing-based Source Code Capital, which backed YunQuNa’s Series A round in 2017, said in a statement that it had continued to re-up in the firm’s Series B, C, and D rounds.
Shanghai-based YunQuNa, which has served about 20,000 enterprises to date, plans to further raise its stakes in the construction of a global logistics network using the new proceeds. It targets to add “dozens of” new logistics centres across major countries and regions in the next one to two years. That is expected to lift the firm’s existing network that covers markets including Mexico, Brazil, Japan, the US, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and beyond.
The startup also aims to lift the application of technologies, such as blockchain and big data, to power new offerings including estimations of shipping space and charges in an attempt to help clients in their cross-border logistics management and decision-making processes.
As the Chinese startup looks to expand aggressively into the global logistics market, the market size is poised to reach almost $13 billion by 2027 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% from 2020 to 2027, according to a report from research firm Allied Market Research in March.
The international logistics industry is stepping into “a VUCA era,” Zhou Shihao, founder and CEO of YunQuNa, was cited as saying in the Source Code statement. VUCA, coined in the leadership theories by US scholars Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, is an acronym that describes the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situation.
“Digital technology is one of the best tools to address this uncertainty,” he said. “Moving forward, we will open up our technologies and offerings to the industry to empower players in the upstream and downstream industry chain. We expect that to help accelerate the intelligent upgrade of the international logistics industry.”
YunQuNa, started operations in February 2015, leverages e-commerce, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide clients with 24/7 services through its online, end-to-end international container freight shipping platform.
Through its connections with over 100 shipping firms, the platform allows the cargo owner to select a vendor that best meets the route and delivery deadline requirements. It also offers other value-add solutions including ETA estimation, customs clearance, cargo tracking, and account settlement.
YunQuNa expects to facilitate up to 700,000 TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units, in 2021. A TEU is a shipping container whose internal dimensions measure about 20 feet long, eight feet wide, and eight feet tall.
The Series D round is YunQuNa’s seventh venture financing round. Previously, the startup pocketed $70 million in its Series C round led by Sequoia Capital China and New York-based Coatue Management in June 2019.
Its backers also include Silicon Valley’s DCM; state-owned China Merchants Group’s affiliate China Merchants Venture; and Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia Limited (SCEA), a corporate venture capital (VC) arm of Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation.