SoftBank-backed car trading firm Chehaoduo nets $300m to hit decacorn valuation

Guazi.com's offline store. Source: Chehaoduo

Beijing-based Chehaoduo, a Chinese online car trading group backed by investors like SoftBank’s Vision Fund and Sequoia Capital China, announced on Thursday the completion of a new funding round at $300 million to reach the decacorn valuation of over $10 billion.

The new round was led by H Capital, a China-focused venture capital (VC) firm founded by former Tiger Global partner Chen Xiaohong. Sequoia Capital China and Beijing-based investment firm IDG Capital also participated in the round, Chehaoduo announced in a WeChat post.

Mark Yang, Chehaoduo’s founder and CEO who goes by his Chinese name Yang Haoyong, also invested in the round.

Chehaoduo, which literally means “a lot of cars” in Chinese, currently operates three major businesses, including used car trading website Guazi.com, new car sales platform Maodou.com, and after-sales service Chehaoduo.

It leverages big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide users with online vehicle trading, automobile finance and insurance, after-sales services, as well as car repair and maintenance, among other offerings. It has operations across 200 cities in China, according to its website.

The newly-minted decacorn has gone a long way since Yang started it in 2015 under the brand “Guazi.com” with an initial financing of $60 million out of his own pocket. After about two years of its inception, Guazi.com merged with Maodou.com in October 2017 to create Chehaoduo, shortly after it had closed over $180 million in a Series B+ round. The firm also completed a $400 million-plus Series B round in June the same year.

Backed by top-notch investors like DST Global, China-focused Capital Today, Alibaba’s co-founder Jack Ma-backed Yunfeng Capital, and Chinese social networking giant Tencent, Chehaoduo has by far raked in approximately $4 billion in total venture financing, shows its website.

The new financing followed a series of big-ticket investments raised by Chehaoduo over the years. Prior to the new round, the startup closed $200 million in an extended Series D round in May 2020. Its Series D round with a staggering transaction amount of $1.5 billion from SoftBank’s Vision Fund was completed in February 2019, giving it a valuation of over $9 billion.

Chehaoduo’s fundraising capabilities are endorsed by its rapid growth in China, as well as the previous entrepreneurship success of Yang. The Chinese entrepreneur and Yale University alumnus, who majored in computer science, had in 2005 created classified advertising site Ganji.com, which in 2015 merged with its then New York-listed homegrown competitor 58.com.

58.com, now China’s biggest online classifieds marketplace by monthly unique visitors, was taken private in an $8.7-billion deal led by a consortium of investors consisting of Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic in September 2020.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.