SoftBank backs $44m funding in South Korean car-sharing startup SoCar

Seoul, South Korea
Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Jana Sabeth Schultz on Unsplash

SoCar, a South Korean car-sharing company, has raised $44 million (about 50 billion won) in a new round of funding from Altos Ventures, KB Investment, Stonebridge Ventures, and SoftBank Ventures, The Investor reported.

SoCar will use the fresh funding to invest in research and development to offer better mobility services through its platform, the report added.

The development comes less than a year after SoCar received an investment of $57 million from local private equity firm IMM Private Equity in April 2018. The funds raised then were used for, among other things, acquiring messenger app startup VCNC and launching van-sharing service Tada.

The startup’s last publicly known funding was in 2015 when it raised an $18-million round of financing led by Bain Capital. It later raised another $56 million in November 2015.

The latest funding brings the startup’s total funding to $174.1 million across four rounds till date, according to CrunchBase data.

Founded in 2012, SoCar offers its services via a website and mobile app. It is the largest car-sharing company in South Korea, boasting approximately 3,200 car rental zones, 8,500 vehicles and 3.6 million registered users. Its closest competitor, Greencar, has around 2,800 rental locations, 6,000 vehicles and 2.5 million registered users.

In 2018, SoCar launched its services in Malaysia by establishing 120 zones with 240 cars in the country.

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