Lalamove: Moving things that matter, better
The logistics industry acts as the veins of a modern economy. Lalamove, an on-demand delivery platform founded in Hong Kong, strives to be the beating heart at the centre of this evolving market landscape by making on-demand same-day delivery possible for everyone, all at the touch of a button.
Established in Hong Kong in 2013, Lalamove today is active in 11 market across Asia and Latin America, connecting a huge network of 10 million users and 1.8 million driver partners around the world. With a strong belief in the power of community, the company is dedicated to empowering local communities in the markets in which it operates, from individual users to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as driver partners, by making delivery fast and simple. The company’s vision is to become synonymous with delivery through fast, flexible services.
Technology and innovation are essential drivers in achieving this vision and providing Lalamove with a competitive edge. The importance of these drivers stems from the rise in the popularity of e-commerce and the mobile internet over the last decade, as well as the growth of applications for advanced technologies, all of which have expedited the digitisation of the supply chain and created an exciting arena for smart logistics.
To build an innovative on-demand platform that meets the world’s delivery needs while easing the pain points in the logistics industry, Lalamove has actively adopted data-driven solutions and applied technologies that make its services and operations more efficient and intelligent. These technologies support the optimisation of the company’s app and analytics, and they enhance operations by improving the onboarding process for drivers and customers.
Digital transformation is enabling businesses to grow in a sustainable way. At the same time, a trusted banking partner can provide the strong financial backing that allows a business to thrive.
As Lalamove’s banking partner for almost a decade, HSBC was one of the first banks to provide financing solutions to the company and did so under its GBA+ Technology Fund. Through this fund, HSBC provided robust support as the company expanded into the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and other markets. The financial backing took the relationship between Lalamove and HSBC to a new level and demonstrated the company’s ability to raise funds despite prevailing market conditions.
The GBA is developing into a global hub for innovation and technology, and it has already proven to be a good incubator for start-ups and other businesses in the new economy, thanks to its access to infrastructure and talent in the sphere of research and development. The region’s large diverse customer base and its booming e-commerce market are creating a promising environment for the prosperity of the logistics industry. As Lalamove continues to expand its footprint in the GBA and globally, HSBC’s international capabilities, banking solutions and cash-management solutions are proving to be key to supporting the company beyond financing.
HSBC is committed to supporting the next generation of leading technology companies by helping them expand both locally and internationally. The GBA+ Technology Fund, launched in 2019, is a debt fund of USD1.13 billion focused on supporting fast-growing technology companies in the GBA. To date, the fund has helped over 50 companies to thrive.
Looking ahead, alongside building a smart logistics platform, Lalamove is placing equal importance on social responsibility. During the pandemic, the company launched a series of initiatives under its ‘Deliver Care’ scheme to help local business communities and people in need. In Hong Kong, Lalamove was able to help its MSME customers stay afloat by tailoring its delivery services and providing a free channel through which they could promote their businesses. The company also launched its own support hotline and free logistics services to aid non-governmental organisations that needed to transport supplies for preventing the spread of the epidemic.
What matters to Lalamove is not just delivering goods, but also making a positive impact on the communities it serves.
GBA+ Technology Fund - Phase Scientific International Limited
Diagnosing a healthier future
Phase Scientific, a high-growth biotech company founded by bioengineers in 2015, established its global headquarters in Hong Kong in 2017 and has ambitious plans for developing the market for rapid diagnostics in China, by leveraging the comparative advantages of the cities comprising the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).
Improving diagnostics for all
Phase Scientific began with a mission to make testing for infectious diseases simpler, less expensive and more accessible. The company is also developing products that will enhance diagnostics not only in lab settings, but also in less formal testing environments such as homes and community centres. Dr. Ricky Chiu, Founder and CEO of Phase Scientific, commenting on these goals, said, “We are trying to extend diagnostics beyond the lab, decentralising access to testing kits for use by anyone regardless of their training.”
Given its expertise in rapid diagnostics, the company’s capabilities were particularly relevant when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Dr. Chiu and his team quickly adapted Phase Scientific’s proprietary sample preparation technology for use in COVID-19 testing, a necessity at the time given the impact of economic lockdowns and strains on the healthcare system. People needed a fast and efficient way to test for COVID-19 at home or in other informal settings.
These conditions changed the landscape of diagnostics dramatically. Dr. Chiu explained that, “The demand for rapid testing capabilities skyrocketed. Our COVID-19 diagnostics were designed to reduce the time and costs associated with testing and ensure widespread access when it was needed most.”
To the GBA and beyond
A key part of Dr. Chiu’s decision to base Phase Scientific’s global operations in Hong Kong is its involvement in the GBA, seen as an ideal environment for biotech startups given its strong intellectual property protections and cross-border marketing channels. Not only do 80% of companies in the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao believe the GBA will grow faster than the rest of China,1 the networking synergies across the GBA cities are conducive to biotech innovation.
For example, Phase Scientific can lean on Hong Kong’s well regarded healthcare system as well as its academic reputation in infectious diseases for research and product distribution. Then locate its production and testing facilities in the GBA cities across the border where there are cost advantages. Such optionality allows biotech startups to fulfil all their requirements in the most efficient way possible, which explains why 66% of healthcare companies in the GBA are planning to expand their operations in the region.2
It also reinforces why connectivity is a key feature of the GBA’s development and a priority for HSBC’s support of companies therein. Businesses like Phase Scientific need a reliable partner to ramp up operations in the region, access its unique range of resources and leverage its connections with markets abroad.
Funding for innovative technology
To continue building its presence in the GBA as well as expanding its reach into the rest of China, Phase Scientific required access to funding. Dr. Chiu engaged HSBC’s GBA+ Technology Fund for financing to ramp up production of its diagnostic kits and expand its lab capacity to accommodate the demand for testing.
Describing his experience with the fund, which uses progressive assessment criteria to support early-stage startups, Dr. Chiu said that, “Besides offering attractive rates compared to other financing sources, the GBA+ Technology Fund is unique in that it provides an efficient and customised solution that meets our specific needs. Paired with HSBC’s understanding of technology companies, the fund helped us significantly when we were getting started and enabled us to pursue our expansion plans in the GBA”
What comes next?
Dr. Chiu sees the GBA as an essential part of his expansion plans in China, which will focus on cancer diagnostics and setting up service labs across the country. With 80% of China’s liquid biopsy companies located in the GBA, Dr. Chiu believes the region is strategically important to his company and has developed a “GBA gameplan” to capture emerging opportunities. The GBA+ Technology Fund was designed to support companies looking to expand their footprint in the region.
Commenting on the purpose of the fund, Frank Fang, Head of Commercial Banking, Hong Kong, HSBC, said, “The GBA+ Technology Fund is designed to empower innovative early-stage companies in capturing business opportunities in the GBA. Through supporting promising startups like Phase Scientific, we are contributing to making this region a powerhouse of creativity and strengthening the role of innovative technology in economic development.”
Looking ahead, Dr. Chiu and his team are working hard to push what is possible in rapid diagnostics and he sees the GBA as a springboard into the rest of China as well as international markets. Asked whether the GBA has the potential to become the next global biotech hub, Dr. Chiu responded with a resounding: “Yes”.
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