Hong Kong Startup Pickupp Raised $15 Million from Billionaires and Conglomerates for Asia Expansion

Pickupp, a Hong Kong logistics startup, has announced that it has raised approximately $15 million in funding to support its Asia expansion and expand its e-commerce platform.

Taipei-based Cornerstone Ventures, Taiwan’s e-commerce company PChome and Drive Catalyst are among the new investors. Drive Catalyst is the corporate venture arm for Taiwan’s Far Eastern Group. It is headed by billionaire Douglas Hsu. Swire Properties, a property developer based in Hong Kong, was also part of the financing.

Hong Kong’s Zipx is also an investor. It is headed by James Steinberg. He was honored on the 30 Under 30 Asia List. Cathay Venture is the corporate venture arm Taiwan-based Cathay Financial. Tsai brothers are the billionaires. Jardine Matheson Group is a Hong Kong-based conglomerate.

Pickup is currently available in Hong Kong and Singapore. Pickup is currently partnering with PChome in Taiwan for last-mile delivery. Crystal Pang, the co-founder and CEO at Pickup, stated in a telephone interview that the startup, which has been around for five years, is open to working with investors from Hong Kong who need logistics services.

Pickup believes that this funding would allow them to take advantage of the tremendous growth in eCommerce in the Asia-Pacific region. According to market research firm Forrester, online retail sales in Asia-Pacific will rise from $1.5 trillion in 2019 and $2.5 trillion by 2024.

Pickup also noticed an increase in demand for cross-border delivery, such as between Taiwanese and Hong Kong. Prior to the pandemic, Hong Kong residents would fly to Taiwan (which is only an hour away) to return Taiwanese products.

“People are more open to trying out new websites and eCommerce players out there, so cross-border commerce is important to make it affordable and feasible for [small-and medium-sized businesses] and individuals,” Pang says. This demand will not go away soon.

Pickup launched Shop On Pickup last year, an eCommerce platform for small businesses that allows them to go online. Pickup plans to expand its e-commerce presence in Asia by opening Shop On Pickup in 10 markets within the next three to five year. Pang says that although there isn’t a specific city in mind, we do have many partners with whom we work. “Even though there is no office in the area, we have already taken volumes from these locations.”

Pang and Eric San (both Uber alumni) cofounded Pickup in 2016. Paco Chan (an honoree last year on the 30 Under 30 Asia list), previously worked at Procter & Gamble. With 80,000 registered agents, Pickup serves more than 20,000 merchants in Asia.

Pickup secured an undisclosed round of funding in 2019 from the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund. Participation was also received by Axis Capital Partners and Spark Ventures, both based in Hong Kong.