UCAR, a famous rival of Didi in China, announced that it has raised RMB 4.6 billion in new funds from four investors that includes UnionPay, China’s interbank network. The firm has already raised investment from high-profile players, including Jack Ma and Warburg Pincus.
Lu Zhengyao, UCAR’s board chairman, told the local media that there’s more to come and more funds will be added with total financing amounting to over RMB 7 bn (~ USD 1.02 bn). The capital will be utilized for recruitment, offline outlets, marketing, and fleet procurement, Lu added. The company had picked up RMB 10 bn last year in October, through a private placement plan.
Listed on the Chinese OTC (over-the-counter) market, this was the first of its kind when listed in September last year with a current valuation of RMB 40.93 bn.
The way UCAR manages its operations, differentiates it from Didi. It boasts an in-house fleet of vehicles and licensed drivers, unlike Didi, which works with private cars and crowd-sourced drivers. This way, the drivers who enables UCAR can potentially avoid government questioning about their legal status and hike up the margins as well.
Currently, the company offers four product lines that include Car. Inc, their Hong Kong-listed car rental arm, Shenzhou Zhuanche, chauffered car service, a car loan service and an online car marketplace.
UCAR is also ready to explore new fields as its different services are going to be profitable this year which may lead them to add car manufacturing to the existing range of businesses, revealed Lu.