Softbank, Google join $1.9 billion
investment in China truck-hailing firm
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[April 24, 2018]
BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Japan's
Softbank Group and Alphabet Inc's venture capital fund CapitalG are
among investors pouring $1.9 billion into a truck hailing service
platform Manbang, the Chinese company said in a statement on Tuesday.
Manbang, formally known as Full Truck Alliance Group, said the
investment was led by SoftBank's Vision Fund - which counts Apple Inc,
Foxconn and Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund among its backers.
Investors also include state-backed private equity firm China Reform
Fund and Hong Kong-based investment firm Ward Ferry, said Manbang.
The investment will help Manbang develop new business areas and markets,
the company said. Around 5.2 million out of China's 7 million trunk line
trucks are members of the Full Truck Alliance, Manbang added.
Manbang, often described as China's "Uber for trucks", runs an app that
allows shippers to connect with truck drivers, tapping into demand for
haulage in one of the world's busiest markets for goods transport.
The investment was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing
sources, who said the fund raising would put the company's valuation
north of $6 billion.
Manbang CEO Wang Gang said in a statement that the firm would use much
of the funds "to recruit talent", which when necessary could include
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A man walks past a sign of Huochebang or Truck Alliance, an app for
truck services, in Guiyang, Guizhou province, China January 16,
"The deal has brought Manbang's development into a new stage," Wang
said, adding it would help the firm "become the world's largest
platform in terms of transportation capacity."
(Reporting by Pei Li and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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