Chinese car maintenance startup Tuhu said to plan US IPO

Chinese car maintenance service startup Tuhu is considering a U.S. initial public offering this year, after raising up to $400 million from a funding round earlier this month, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Investment banks have been pitching to the company in recent weeks for the potential IPO, said five people. The company will likely opt for a U.S. stock listing as there is more liquidity and more comparable companies trading on U.S. exchanges, said three of the people.

Two separate sources, however, cautioned the company, which provides services via its website, mobile app, call centre and third-party platforms, has not yet made a final decision on the IPO plan.

The plan, if finalised, will add to a growing list of Chinese companies, mainly from the technology sector, launching IPOs in the United States in the past year lured by higher valuations and strong liquidity in the world’s largest economy.

Thirty Chinese companies listed in the United States in 2020 in deals worth $11.7 billion, a six-year high, according to Refinitiv data.

There have been $2.3 billion worth of listings so far in 2021.

Founded 10 years ago in Shanghai, Tuhu provides car repair and maintenance services via an online-to-offline business model. Its app links customers with over 2,400 car repair centres and 13,000 partner centres in 405 cities in China, according to Tuhu‘s website.

Tuhu raised $300 million to $400 million from its latest fundraising at a valuation of $3.8 billion, which was led by existing investors Tencent Holdings and Sequoia Capital China, said two of the people.

All the sources declined to be named as the information is confidential.

A Tuhu spokesman said the company’s fundraising is still ongoing and that there is still uncertainty around the plans. He added that the company has ample capital and has no clear listing plans. Tencent and Sequoia declined to comment.

Tuhu raised $450 million in a funding round in 2018, which was led by Tencent, Carlyle Group and Sequoia, according to a company statement at the time. It also counts Goldman Sachs and Baidu Inc as early investors.

Private equity firm FountainVest Partners is among investors in the latest fundraising, said one of the people. The firm declined to comment.

Reuters

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.