Hundreds of millions of yuan A round of financing! Will ningbo cross-border logistics produce “unicorn”? overseas warehouse in Los Angeles, USA. Provided by respondents

In Ningbo, “Hong Kong connects the world”, foreign trade is an important support for the economy, and cross-border e-commerce is the new growth pole of ningbo’s foreign trade in recent years.

On March 31, ningbo’s venture capital circle and foreign trade circle ushered in A big news — 51uda Logistics Technology Group (51uda for short), A cross-border e-commerce logistics enterprise headquartered in Ningbo, completed hundreds of millions of yuan of round A financing, the investors for eWTP KEChuang Fund.

When the epidemic catalyzed the digital transformation of foreign trade and logistics, will ningbo cross-border logistics be a unicorn?

Where is this Yongqiniu?

51uda is a digital cross-border logistics service provider, which delivers products from Chinese sellers to overseas consumers “door to door” through comprehensive intelligent logistics solutions based on overseas warehouses.

As we all know, cross-border e-commerce is inseparable from the word “fast”. But getting products safely and efficiently into the hands of overseas consumers isn’t easy. Moreover, cross-border logistics is costly. Data show that at present, cross-border logistics costs are as high as 20% to 30% of the transaction volume.

In this context, China’s cross-border e-commerce enterprises, especially those engaged in home furnishing equipment, fitness equipment and other large and medium-sized goods sellers, urgently need an all-round “logistics butler” to help reduce costs and increase efficiency and improve services. This is the core competitiveness of 51uda, but also the key to its capital favor.

At present, more than 20 years of operating experience, take all around the world with approximately 400 square feet (1 ft = 0.3048 m) of proprietary storage and distribution system, network covering major developed economies such as China and North America, Europe, provide more than 2000 enterprises with science and technology, visualization, security and stability of the whole chain of logistics solutions. Last year, 51uda posted revenue of rmb1.5bn, up 90 per cent from a year earlier.

The investor eWTP Science and Technology Innovation Fund was established in 2018 with an initial scale of us $600 million. It was initiated and established by eWTP Ecological Fund. It is the first private fund focusing on the global development of technology innovation and innovative enterprises in the Belt and Road region.

Zheng Rongqing, executive director of eWTP Science and Technology Fund, said that in recent years, as China’s cross-border e-commerce industry has made rapid progress, cross-border sellers have seen a surge in demand for transport capacity, overseas warehousing and final delivery. 51uda has established a solid customer base and service ability, and has a high reputation and brand recognition in the industry, winning the praise of the industry and customers.

Hundreds of millions of yuan A round of financing! Will ningbo cross-border logistics produce "unicorn"?

“Our ability to solve problems and our efficiency are the biggest advantages that have brought us this far.” Wang Yong, general manager of 51yoda, told reporters that 51yoda has a large number of partners and its own collection card system, as well as hundreds of logistics teams in Europe and the United States, which has a strong ability to land and execute overseas. The digital management system created by the company can make the whole process of ordering, shipping, transportation and distribution of goods visible. This round of financing will be used for overseas warehouse expansion, product and service iteration, and improvement of industry ecology.

“In the next 3-5 years, 51voda plans to build 100 operation centers around the world, mainly targeting Europe and Southeast Asia. We hope to enhance logistics and distribution capacity, expand the range of sellers’ choices, and make the industry ‘cake’ bigger. This year, 51uda will hold an industry summit in Ningbo to help ningbo build a cross-border e-commerce ecosystem.” Mr. Wang said.

What does capital bring to Ningbo?

At present, the sudden rise of cross-border e-commerce, is becoming the capital competition “xiangbobo”.

At the end of 2020, SHEIN, a Chinese fast fashion cross-border e-commerce platform known as the American version of “Zara”, won the E round of financing after becoming popular, with a valuation of over 300 billion yuan.

According to the 2021 Investment and Financing Data Report of China’s E-commerce Industry, there were at least 77 cross-border e-commerce financing incidents in China last year. Among them, those that raised more than $100 million included PatPat, an e-commerce platform for maternal and child export, Qiaobidao, a cross-border payment service provider, and Qiaobidao, a fintech company.

Cross-border logistics is also the focus of capital. From the scale of A round of financing, 51uda has taken an important step towards the goal of “unicorn”.

In Wang’s view, although China has the world’s most complete industrial sector, there are few regional logistics companies. In the past, Traditional Chinese foreign trade enterprises only needed to deliver goods to the destination port, and the voice of international logistics was monopolized by Europe and the United States.

“The rapid development of cross-border e-commerce requires China’s own logistics companies to help Chinese brands go overseas and improve their service capabilities.” Wang Yong believes that in the future, China’s cross-border logistics field or will be born a number of billions of service providers, Ningbo is also expected to emerge “seed players”.

Ningbo cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot zone has ranked the “first echelon” in the country. In 2021, a total of 62 enterprises in Ningbo will build and operate 217 overseas warehouses in 23 countries and regions around the world, with a total area of 2.83 million square meters.

“The booming cross-border e-commerce will bring more opportunities to the rise of China’s international logistics companies. But in the face of fierce competition, specialization and digitalization will be the trend.” He Zhoujian, general manager of Ningbo Big Winner Logistics Technology Co., LTD., said that while many Ningbo companies are still taking the “small but beautiful” route, some are starting to build a global network through financing or backed by large platforms, and their service is not limited to Chinese sellers, but also expanded to more overseas companies.

Xie Shangwei, secretary general of Ningbo Cross-border E-commerce Association, said, “We are very happy to see ningbo cross-border e-commerce logistics enterprises get capital recognition. In the context of rising sea freight prices and expansion of overseas warehouse construction, capital injection is expected to bring support for cross-border e-commerce, such as capital flow, information flow and supply chain, and bring more power to the subsequent development of enterprises.”

However, some industry insiders point out that capital may be a “double-edged sword”, ningbo enterprises have always been low-key and pragmatic, must understand the operation rules of the capital market, do a good job in the early research and communication, in order to prevent business risks.

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