Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has invested around RMB3 billion (US$461 million) in Ucar Group, a mobile app-based chauffeured car service firm controlled by Chinese car rental firm Car Inc.’s founder and CEO, Charles Zhengyao Lu, according to Chinese media reports citing a legal document.
Alibaba will take a nearly 10% stake in 14-month-old Ucar in a deal that values the unit at RMB30 billion (US$4.6 billion).
In September 2015, Warburg Pincus LLC and Legend Holdings joined a US$550 million series B funding round in Ucar at a US$3.55 billion valuation.
Launched by Chinese car rental firm Car Inc. in January 2015, Ucar received US$250 million from Warburg Pincus LLC, parent company Car Inc., Legend Holdings and other investors in a series A funding round in July 2015.
The latest investment may indicate that Alibaba will focus on Ucar in the ride share segment going forward, says the reports.
The Internet giant is also an investor in Chinese ride share giant Didi Kuaidi, which counts both Alibaba and its rival Tencent Holdings Ltd. and many leading International investors as its backers.
Alibaba and Didi Kuaidi also jointed a US$1 billion new financing round in U.S. ride share company Lyft in January.