Seven Seas Partners, a venture capital firm established by former Tencent chief technology officer Xiong Minghua, has led an over RMB100 million (US$14 million) financing round in Xiangxianggongyong, a smart logistics packaging sharing platform.
Chinese private equity firm Yongbo Lingzhong also participated in the round, according to a company announcement. With the investment, Seven Seas Partners’ Xiong will join the board of Horen Gruop, Xiangxianggongyong’s parent company.
Xiangxianggongyong was launched by Chinese packaging firm Horen three years ago to create a digitized packaging platform for the logistics sector. The platform uses no paper boxes to reduce waste creation, allows companies to share standard and recyclable plastic packaging boxes. The entire operation uses big data to improve the boxes’ utility rate and to achieve efficient turnover.
“The logistics industry will be integrated with the Internet more going forward. Horen has an outstanding team of returnable transit packaging (RTP) engineers, who have built up a high technology barrier to deter competition,” said Xiong in the announcement. “We will help Horen develop Xiangxianggongyong into a leading logistics package sharing platform in the world.”
Founded in 2013, Horen focuses on developing RTP technology, with operation in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia and Australia. The company says it has provided services to leading logistics packaging companies such as CHEP Pallecon Solutions and Euro Pool System.
Xiangxianggongyong integrates Bluetooth, cellular communication and narrow-band Internet of Things technology into the RTP technology to achieve smart sharing of packaging boxes among users.
Horen itself is backed by venture capital firms. The company raised a RMB50 million (US$7 million) series A round from Yongbo Lingzhong earlier this year, following a RMB12 million (US$1.8 million) angel round from Vertex Ventures China in 2014.