Chinese smart logistics platform YunQuNa enters unicorn club post $100m round

Bukit Merah, Singapore. Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

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’s logistics platform

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.

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.