South Korea-based online grocery, food delivery, and logistics platform, Market Kurly, has raised US$160 million in its Series E funding led by Hong Kong-based investment firm, DST Global. The startup is planning to use this latest funds in upgrading the logistics system of its Gimpo-based mega-sized warehouse, widening its customer base, and adding headcount to its teams.
South Korea’s general trading company, SK Networks, participated in the latest funding as a new investor and the additional participation from its several existing backers such as Sequoia Capital China, Hillhouse Capital, Translink Capital, Newcomer Aspex Management, Fuse Venture Partners, and Hillhouse Capital Group.
Market Kurly has successfully bagged the immense funding in the duration when all the investments have diminished due to the global emergency of coronavirus pandemic that has devastated the global economy. Even many of the pre-planned investment deals have halted as the investors are concerned about keeping potential liquidity crunch to keep in-hand cash.
In the time, when many offline businesses are struggling, the deliveries and e-commerce services are propelled into the limelight due to the lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis around South Korea. Most of the consumers have opted online medium to shop for groceries and other essentials, and this has also left the offline stores sales down. In contrast, a significant rise in online grocery stores has witnessed, as online shops offer one-day delivery of fresh grocery items, which are delivered the very next morning after the order is placed.
On this occasion, DST Global investment partner John Lindfors said, in online grocery space, Market Kurly has been seen growing exponentially. Besides, it is the pioneer to establish morning deliveries, which has also demonstrated its ability to shake the whole logistics industry along with changing the grocery shopping habits of consumers in Korea.
Since its emergence, the e-commerce startup had bagged 420 billion won in funding to date. Alongside this, the startup also claims to have recorded an average annual growth of almost 3.5 times. It had also expanded its operating capability area by 4.9 times last year and around 2.9 times hike in entire deliveries, as per the publishing firm. Coupang, GMarket, and SSG.com are among Market Kurly competitors.
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