A service that lets freelancers make e-retail deliveries in China raises $100 million
June 25, 2015 01:18 PM
When people have time on their hands, why not put them to work? Uber has made a business by using freelancers to provide rides, and Dada is doing the same with a mobile app that lets users snag assignments delivering online orders in China.
Dada, a Shanghai-based delivery startup that’s little more than a year old, has convinced some significant U.S. investors that there is a future for a concept that relies on consumers to deliver goods to their neighbors. The company announced last week that it had raised $100 million from its previous investors, including Sequoia Capital, DST and Greenwoods Capital, in a series C financing round. Dada has raised about $50 million in previous two financing rounds.
Philip Kuai, a former McKinsey consultant with a masters in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, created Dada a year ago. He says his goal is to solve one of the biggest challenges of e-commerce: last-mile delivery.
More than 100,000 freelancers have used the app to obtain delivery assignments, and Dada’s business has expanded into more than 30 cities, including Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, the company says.
According to Dada, 100,000 stores and more than 100 e-commerce companies, including e-commerce powerhouses JD.com and Alibaba Group, use its app to ship an average of 600,000 online orders each day to consumers in large cities.
JD.com is No.1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 China 500. Alibaba is not ranked in the China 500 because it is not the merchant of record for sales conducted on its online marketplace, but rather provides a platform where other merchants can sell.