Softbank Backs Truck Startup, Raises Value to $12 Billion

Softbank Backs Truck Startup, Raises Value to $12 Billion

Investing giant Softbank leads new rounds of capital raising for Full Truck Alliance, garnering $1.7 billion from prominent investors.

Among those included in the high-profile roster in Google’s parent company Alphabet, Tencent Holdings, Sequoia Capital, among others.

The move raised the Chinese firm’s valuation to $12 billion. Currently, many consider it the biggest truck-hailing services provider in the country.

Along with the reports, sources familiar with the matter said that the company is planning for an offshore IPO by next year. 

Experts noted that the venue of the public offering may likely invade Wall Street by next year.

The trucking services company is known as the “Uber for trucks”. It operates on the same mechanism as the ubiquitous ride-hailing platform.

On the other hand, it offers truck services that are uncommon to the market and takes businesses as its main niche.

A mobile app helps link a truck driver and a business owner who needs to transport its goods to a geographical location within the state’s border.

The company also offers key ancillary services such as truck fuel, auto insurance, and auto financing.

The on-demand service is convenient, especially for small and medium enterprises who do not have or in need of additional help on the transport of their goods domestically.

The additional capital where Softbank came as one of the biggest financers is included in the Japanese investor’s Vision Fund.

The mechanism remains on the red amid big losses from technology bets and derivates despite gaining conservative traction in the previous quarter.

Manbang Group’s Increasing Influence

Full Truck Alliance, also known as Manbang Group, is a result of a merger between Chinese truck services platforms Yunmanman and Huochebang in 2017.

Currently, it boasts over 10 million registered truck drivers and 5 million truck owners on its platform.

The additional fund from the latest initiative will be exhausted in upgrading its technology and service. 

It also plans on expanding to the automotive industry and will back the rising trucking startup Plus.AI.

Some business model innovations will also become apparent right after the allocation of funds.

With the growing competition in the world’s second-largest consumer market, Manbang Group must reformulate itself to stay on top.

Among its biggest competitors that are gaining a grip on the Chinese market are kobo360 and TruckPad.

When asked about its plan for 2021 IPO, the trucking firm refused to give a statement to the public.

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