Geely-backed EV startup Caocao Zhuanche raises $156m Series A at $1.6b valuation

Visual from Geely's website

Electric vehicle-sharing company Cacao Zhuanche, a Geely-invested mobility solutions firm, said it raised Rmb1 billion in its first major funding round, giving the startup an initial valuation of over Rmb10 billion ($1.6 billion).

The two-year-old Huangzhou-based firm’s Series A round was participated by various domestic and overseas investors, whose identities were not disclosed.

In a statement, Caocao said it will launch in Shenzhen and Chongqing in the short term after the completion of the first funding round.

“The completion of the Series A round of funding represents the market’s confidence in us. Following our B2C operating model of providing ‘new energy vehicles, innovative mobility solutions, and professionally certified drivers’, we will take environmentally friendly mobility to the next level and provide clean mobility solution to a broader audience,” Caocao’s Chairman Liu Jinliang said

Launched in November 2015, Caocao received a licence in 2017 to provide ride-hailing services with its electric cars, making it the first new energy vehicle mobility solutions platform to receive a business licence in China.

It uses only electric vehicles made by Geely, which is a strategic investor in the company, and operates in 17 cities with over 12,000 drivers, filling roughly 150,000 orders daily.

The company reportedly has a total of 10 million users and ranks first in the number of active users in eight cities. It also owns all the vehicles in its service, unlike other ride-sharing companies, with trained and certified drivers.

“With over 10 million registered users already, this first round of funding will allow Caocao to provide safe, secure, clean, and reliable mobility solutions that include travel services, emissions-free ride-hailing, concierge service, and carbon banking to a broader audience,” Geely said in a statement on its website.

Cacao said it had made progress in connected cars, allowing better customer and vehicle engagement through digital technologies. Its platform also allows drivers to directly communicate with the company.

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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.