YiQi Exchange, a Chinese motorbike battery exchange service provider, has raised several millions of yuan in a series B round of financing led by Chinese social media and gaming magnate Tencent, the company announced at a news briefing last Friday.
Chinese investment firm NIO Capital, venture capital firm New Cognitive Fund, and an energy-focused investment vehicle of global investment platform Cathay Capital also participated in this round.
YiQi Exchange, operated by SuZhou YiHuanQi Network Technology Co., was launched in 2014 in southeastern China’s Suzhou city to provide battery exchange service to motorbikes.
Aiming to help improve the driving experience limited by low battery capacity and long charging time, the company recorded nearly 1,000 offline stores across 21 Chinese cities including Shanghai, Suzhou, Zhengzhou, and Kunming. The company said its users are mainly delivery staff of Chinese on-demand service platforms Meituan-Dianping and Ele.me.
With the standardization of the two-wheeled electric vehicle industry and growing demand of a more convenient travel mode, the battery exchange service will become a "must" for the two-wheeled electric vehicle industry, said Yao Leiwen, partner of Tencent Investment, in an interview with Chinese tech-focused publication 36kr.
Proceeds of this round will be used to increase investment in the research and development, and boost the coverage density of battery exchange stations in China.
The company previously raised an angel round and a series A round from Chinese investment firm Sinovation Ventures, Chinese venture capital firm Plum Ventures, and Ruchuan Capital, a Chinese investment company specialized in sports, cultural, and entertainment areas.