May 20, 2020

Full Truck Alliance nears US$1bn in fresh funding, targeting $9bn valuation

Full Truck Alliance Group
2 min
Full Truck Alliance nears US$1bn in fresh funding, targeting $9bn valuation
Full Truck Alliance Group, known as Manbang in its native China, is close to raising US$1bn in its latest funding round, Bloomberg reports
The firm, likened to an Uber for trucks, connects shippers with truck drivers in China where there is huge demand for haulage services.
Truck Alliance’s income is based largely on membership fees paid by customers, and the firm also takes a cut of driver charges.
Bloomberg said that this latest funding round is geared towards investing in growth and driverless technology, according to its sources.
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There is a lot of interest in the industry for autonomous trucks, particularly as many long-haul journeys involve protracted stretches of uncomplicated road travel.
Bloomberg’s sources reportedly said that the firm had initially targeted a $10bn valuation, while the latest funding round could instead raise the company’s value to $9bn – an increase of 40%.
In a company statement released in August, Truck Alliance said that it currently serves 1.5mn paying customers with 5.2mn registered truck drivers.
Truck Alliance is incorporating technology which simplifies processes to maximise efficiency, with Bloomberg noting that the industry is notorious for having trucks that “stand empty for hours” while “drivers rely on typically chaotic service centers to find their next load.”

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Jun 8, 2021

Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days

Kate Birch
2 min
We chart an historic week in India’s startup tech industry, where from April 5-9 the country achieved six unicorns

We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.

April 5: Meesho

India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.

April 6: CRED

Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.

April 7: API Holdings / Groww

The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.

April 8: ShareChat

New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.

April 9: Gupshup

AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels. 


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