About $1.9 billion in investments is to be made into a Chinese truck hailing service platform Manbang by Alphabet Inc’s venture capital fund CapitalG, Japan’s Softbank Group and others. This was announced by the Chinese company in a statement on Tuesday.
With Apple Inc, Foxconn and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund backing it, the funding round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, said Manbang. The company was formally known as Full Truck Alliance Group.
Manbang said that Hong Kong-based investment firm Ward Ferry and state-backed private equity firm China Reform Fund were also included among the list of investors.
The company said that the investment would be used for the development of new business areas and markets. Manbang added that the Full Truck Alliance includes about 5.2 million trunk line trucks among the 7 million trucks of China as its members.
China is amongst the busiest market for transportation of goods and the Manbang app allows shippers to connect with truck drivers. It is often referred to as the “Uber for trucks” of China.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the investment and quoted sources who were reportedly knowledgeable about the matter and who claimed that following the fund raising round, the valuation of the company would by at $6 billion.
A large portion of its funds would be used utilized to recruit talent by the company, said Manbang CEO Wang Gang in a statement. It would also make acquisitions when necessary.
“The deal has brought Manbang’s development into a new stage,” Wang said, adding it would help the firm “become the world’s largest platform in terms of transportation capacity.”
On the other hand, according to a The Wall Street Journal report that it could be as early as this year that a multi-billion-dollar initial public offering would be launched by Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing. The report is based on sources with knowledge of the matter.
When it goes public, it hopes to achieve valuation of at least $70 billion to $80 billion. in recent weeks, the company has been in discussions with banks about the prospect of raising money through an IPO during the later part of the current year, the report said.
The Journal report said that because of plans of a public listing by its new rival China’s Meituan-Dianping being planed for later this year, Didi has hastened its deliberations on its own potential IPO.
The news report further added that the place for the listing has not yet been decided and it is also not clear whether it will be this year that the company will launch the IPO because ethe talks are in very initial stages.
There was no comment from Didi.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)