Mar 22, 2019
Poker Pro Uses Winnings to Launch "Uber for Logistics"
By RTR Dennis
Many poker pros stick with the game until they no longer find it profitable. Shing Chow, on the other hand, has chosen to take his poker profits and start a business.
Chow began his early adult life working for Bain & Co., a management consulting company in Beijing. But after three years, he grew bored with the job and quit.
He’d been playing poker recreationally up to this point and decided to turn pro. Chow played professionally for eight years, racking up 30 million yuan (£3.4 million) in cash-game profits. He then used a large portion of his winnings to launch Lalamove (previously EasyVan) in 2013, which is now being called the “Uber for logistics.”
What Does Lalamove Do?
Lalamove is a provider of on-demand delivery and logistics (commercial transportation of goods). They offer freelance delivery services to companies that don’t want to hire and train their own drivers — hence the “Uber of logistics” nickname.
According to Entrepreneur’s Pooja Singh, the company operates in 11 Asian cities and has a presence in Bangkok, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and mainland China. It now features three million registered drivers and serves over 28 million users.
Lalamove promises customers the “3 Fs,” which includes fast delivery, fulfillment, and fantastic service. They seek to give their freelance drivers a solid way to make a good living.
The Growth Continues
This company has been a huge success story in its short existence. Lalamove has been so successful, in fact, that it continues generating new funding to fuel its immense growth.
They secured nearly $300 million in funding in a Series D1 round engineered by Hillhouse Capital and a D2 round led by Sequoia China. They successful closed a $100 million Series C round in 2017, meaning Lalamove has raised over $400 million total within the past two years.
Shing recently stated that his company is well positioned to capitalize on a growing market in Asia.
“In the past five years, the total share of China’s logistics industry over GDP has decreased from 18 per cent to 14.6 per cent,” he said.
“This means that the industry is becoming more cost efficient, and we are convinced that the impact of deepening Internet penetration and new technologies will continue to drive efficiency within the logistics sector and, Lalamove is well positioned to be at the forefront of this transformation.”
Lei Zhang, CEO of Hillhouse Capital, believes that the logistics industry is being totally reshaped by technology. He was willing to invest in Lalamove, because he sees them as poised to take advantage of the growing tech trend.
“Lalamove’s management team has placed it at the forefront of this trend,” said Zhang. “We have been impressed with the company’s success in Southeast Asia and China, and believe it is well-positioned to bring more efficient and convenient freight services to the sector.”
Shing Has Gone from Poker Pro to Big-time CEO
Shing obviously showed that he had the skills to succeed on the poker felt, making tens of millions of yuan during his career. But he may be accomplishing an even more-outstanding feat with what he’s doing in the business world.
Neil Shen, founder of Sequoia China, is very impressed by what Shing has accomplished in such a short amount of time.
“Raised in Hong Kong and educated at Stanford University,” said Shen, “Shing returned and plunged himself in the entrepreneurial wave of ‘Internet Plus,’ becoming a figure of entrepreneurial success.”
Shing Chow may be well on his way to managing one of the most-successful companies in all of Asia. And he can thank his poker skills and winnings for putting him in this position.