The Chinese Uber for trucks, known as both Full Truck Alliance and Manbang, announced it had raised $1.7 billion in its latest funding efforts, TechCrunch reports.
Why It Matters: This comes two years after the company pulled in $1.9 billion from a high-profile group of investors, which included SoftBank Group and Alphabet Inc’s venture capital fund CapitalG.
The Backstory: Manbang runs an app, which matches “truck drivers and merchants transporting cargo and provides financial services to truckers.” It was formed through a merger between rivals Yunmanman and Huochebang in 2017.
- Yunmanman founder and Manbang CEO Zhang Hui “hailed from Alibaba’s famed B2B department where Manbang chairman Wang Gang also worked before he went on to fund ride-hailing giant Didi’s angel round.”
Back To Present Day: The company claims to have over 10 million verified drivers and 5 million cargo owners. Manbang said it reached profitability this year, and its valuation was “reportedly on course to reach $10 billion in 2018,” according to WSJ.
This round of financing included high-profile backers such as the SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital China, Permira, Fidelity, Hillhouse Capital, GGV Capital, Lightspeed China Partners, Tencent and Jack Ma’s YF Capital, among others.
What’s Next? An IPO, maybe? A few weeks ago, WSJ reported Manbang was looking to lock in $1 billion in anticipation of a public offering next year. The company “declined to comment on the matter, though its CEO Zhang Hui said in May 2019 that the firm was “not in a rush” to go public.”
For now, the new capital will help fund “research and development, upgrade its matching system, and expand its service capacity to functions like door-to-door transportation.”
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