SoftBank-Led Round Values Uber-Like Truck Startup at $12 Billion

SoftBank-Led Round Values Uber-Like Truck Startup at $12 Billion

Full Truck Alliance has raised $1.7 billion from investors including SoftBank Group Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., a major cash infusion for the Uber-like trucking startup ahead of a potential initial public offering.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Sequoia, Fidelity International and Permira led the round of funding, the startup said in a statement. It valued the Chinese company at about $12 billion after investment, a person familiar with the deal said, asking not to identified disclosing private information. Other investors included Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, Hillhouse, GGV, Lightspeed, All-Stars Investment and Baillie Gifford.

The startup aims to use the cash to expand into same-city deliveries, deepening a network now focused on ferrying goods between urban centers. Formed by a merger between China’s two largest truck-sharing platforms -- Huochebang and Yunmanman-- Full Truck Alliance has attracted a big roster of backers including Alphabet Inc.’s CapitalG. The latest financing, which was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal, almost matched the $1.9 billion raised in 2018 at a valuation of about $6 billion. The startup didn’t disclose its valuation Tuesday.

Full Truck Alliance, one of the biggest startups in SoftBank’s global portfolio, operates a marketplace that connects millions of mostly independent truckers with merchants that require shipping. It makes money by charging a fee when brokering transactions, and from servicing drivers by selling top-up toll cards and directing them to service stations.

It was said to have broken even as early as mid-2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic locked down cities across China and cast its logistics sector into disarray.

Full Truck Alliance, known as Manbang in Chinese, said Tuesday it broke even this year and currently handles transactions for some 10 million truckers and 5 million shippers. It’s also expanding into automotive technology and backs autonomous trucking startup Plus.AI.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.