Caocao Zhuanche, an electric vehicle sharing company backed by Chinese automaker Geely, has completed a RMB1 billion (US$156 million) series A round from various investors, at a valuation of over RMB10 billion (US$1.6 billion), according to its official Weibo account.
The identity of investors in the round was not disclosed.
Launched in 2015, Hangzhou-based Caocao Zhuanche uses only electric vehicles made by Geely, which is a strategic investor in the company. It operates in 17 cities with over 12,000 drivers, and fills roughly 150,000 orders daily, the company said.
Along with taxi on-demand services, the company also offer private car services with tour guides and bodyguards and car rental services. Unlike ride-sharing companies such as Uber, Caocao Zhuanche owns all the vehicles in its service and drivers are trained and certified.
Although Didi Chuxing dominates China’s ride-sharing market, there remains substantial room for growth. As of last April, Didi Chuxing’s market penetration rate was 11.4%, followed by Yidao Yongche and Shenzhou Zhuanche with 0.9% and 0.7%, according to Jiguang Data. Market penetration rate is defined as the amount of adoption of a service compared to the local theoretical market for the service.
Several other firms have expanded their car-sharing businesses. Last week,chauffeured car service provider Yidao Yongche announced the launch of a taxi service. Earlier this month, bike-sharing firm Mobike’s partnered with passenger car marker FAW Car Co Ltd. on its new car-sharing unit Mobike Chuxing Technology Co. Last month, China’s Groupon equivalent Meituan-Dianping set up its ride-sharing unit, operating in seven cities.
With the new funding, the company plans to expand in cities such as Shenzhen and Chongqing, Caocao Zhuanche said.