Exclusive: IFC to invest $20m in Chinese logistics platform HuoCheBang

U.S. 100 dollar banknotes and Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration in Beijing, China, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank, is looking to make an equity investment of up to $20 million in HuoCheBang, a China-based online truck logistics B2B platform.

The investment is expected to be done done along with other leading institutional investors. The investment by IFC is slated to contribute to improving the technology of the platform and expanding its services.

HuoCheBang is a private company founded by Wenjian Dai in 2008 under the name Guiyang Huochebang Technology Co Ltd. It is headquartered in Guiyang in Guizhou province. It  allows truck drivers to get information about commodities to be transported and find vacant parking lots.

Through the platform, cargo shippers and truck drivers can use the online load board allowing to improve efficiency as well as lowering cost for truck drivers and providing additional services.

The investment is expected to help achieve better efficiency in China’s freight logistics market by reducing vacancy for trucks. Improved efficiency of the average number of days truck drivers need to find their next load and the cost incurred is expected to improve, according to an IFC disclosure dated November 17.

IFC will provide patient capital while allowing flexibility of structuring for its business expansion, even to overseas.

Earlier in 2016, the company raised an investment of about $35 million of funding led by Genesis Capital, according to media reports.

Prior to that in August 2015, HuoCheBang raised a series A+ round by led by Chinese internet giant, Tencent Holding Limited which also is the one backing MoBike, with a contribution by Chinese investment management firm, Hillhouse Capital and DCM Venture, an early stage cross-border venture firm. Before that, around May, they got a series A funding led by Zhongding Capital.

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