Chinese truck-hailing firm Manbang nets nearly $1.7b from SoftBank, Sequoia, others

Manbang Group

Manbang Group, a Chinese logistics player that provides truck-hailing solutions, announced on Tuesday that it has pocketed $1.7 billion in a funding round co-led by new investor Fidelity and returning backers SoftBank Vision Fund, and Sequoia Capital China.

A clutch of other existing investors re-upped in the round including Asia-based private equity firm Hillhouse Capital, seed- to growth-stage investments focused GGV Capital, Jack Ma’s investment firm YF Capital, Tencent, UK investment manager Baillie Gifford, Lightspeed China Partners, All-Stars Investment, Xiang He Capital, and CMC, Manbang said on WeChat. 

The latest vehicle comes over two years after it had scooped up $190 million in a Series E round in April 2018 from SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital China, Tencent, Lightspeed China Partners, All-Stars Investment, and Xiang He Capital, among others.

The fresh fundraising will go towards Manbang’s innovations in technology, services, and operations management. Not only will it aim to advance its intelligent systems, but it will also facilitate market expansion and enhance delivery-on-arrival services, it said.

Manbang, created by the merger of Yunmanman and Huochebang in 2017 in Southwest China’s Guiyang city, builds up its marketplace to connect independent truckers with shippers. It operates a mobile app to provide one-stop cargo logistics services such as commodity transport, cargo management, and auto insurance, through its over 10 million registered drivers.

Of late, Manbang partnered with global real estate PE firm Gaw Capital Partners to form a joint venture (JV) in a bid to develop smart logistics properties and facilities in China.

“We’ve seen that Manbang has achieved a dramatic development in truck-hailing since we made an early-stage investment in Yunmanman in 2015. Thus we pumped capital in its six rounds of financing in a row. Sequoia has strong confidence in Manbang’s contributions to the truck-hailing industry, as well as bulk cargo services,” said Shanshan Guo, a partner at Sequoia Capital China, in the statement.

Apart from the $170m funding, Manbang also claims to upgrade its sub-platform Yunmanman.

Prior to that, Sequoia Capital China along with YF Capital, Lightspeed China Partners, GGV Capital, and  Xiang He Capital had collectively poured $110 million for Manbang’s Series D round in 2017. In 2015, Sequoia also participated in Manbang’s Series B and Series C rounds. 

China’s logistics market accounts for about 20 per cent of the industry globally, and the country is expected to remain as the world’s largest road transportation market in the next five years, according to McKinsey. The country’s scale of truckload transportation amounted to 3 trillion yuan ($449.7 billion) in 2019.

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.