Softbank, China Reform Fund Co-lead $1.9B Round In Truck-hailing Firm Manbang

Chinese truck-hailing firm Manbang Group has completed a US$1.9 billion round led by Softbank Vision Fund and China Reform Fund, a private equity firm backed by China Reform Holdings Corporation Ltd and other central state-owned enterprises.

Google-backed late-stage growth venture capital fund Capital G, American investment firms Farallon Capital and Baillie Gifford, Tencent Holdings Limited, Sequoia Capital China, Hillhouse Capital, GVC Capital and others participated in the round, according to the announcement at Manbang’s official WeChat account.

Manbang Group was created last November by the merger of Chinese Uber-like truck logistics unicorns Yunmanman and Huochebang.

The firm connects truck drivers with shippers, and also provides an after-service platform which covers truck fuel, auto insurance, auto financing and other services. It has over 5.2 million truck members and 1.25 million logistics company members.

The firm will use the proceeds of the round to expand businesses in new energy and autonomous driving, and will also look to expand internationally. Wang Gang, president of Manbang, said the firm will use RMB8 billion (US$1.27 billion) to hiring talent and the firm will conduct acquisitions if necessary to attract top talent.

Softbank, which is providing US$1 billion to the deal, has backed other ride-hailing firms such as Uber and Didi Chuxing. Capital G, founded in 2013, is investing US$30 million in Manbang, marking its first investment in China since 2014 when it invested in Innolight Technology Ltd., a Chinese supplier of high-speed optical transceivers, according to media reports.

China Expert Network