The instant-delivery business is booming in Korea, with the market now worth about US$5 billion and thousands of local providers big and small competing against one another. One in particular, Naldo, has caught the eye of two venture capital offshoots of existing corporations.
The startup announced that it has received a series A investment from both Softbank Ventures Korea and Qualcomm Ventures. This will be its first major investment after its initial angel funding in 2013. The capital will be used for the sales, marketing and product development side for the startup for the sake of ‘faster scaling’.
What makes Naldo unique among the aforementioned thousands? The company has developed a few workarounds for common delivery service problems like late deliveries, bundled orders and intransparent pricing. These include having a mobile app and an SMS system for package-tracking, an online platform to save costs on getting a call centre, and its availability in the metropolitan area of Seoul and Kyeonggi-do.
It also helps that Naldo provides immediate delivery within a time frame of 90 minutes. In a field where the fastest and most efficient survive, having that hook in an arguably busy business area will make venture capital bigwigs take notice. Softbank Ventures itself vouched that the startup is “the best team to fix these old problems and create a market-leading company.”
Naldo was founded in March 2013 by the Founder and former CEO of Yogiyo Ludolf Ebner-Chung (Yogiyo = Asian version of Delivery Hero). He is also renowned for being a former McKinsey consultant, working with clients such as games company NCSoft and consumer product giant LG Electronics.