SoftBank Vision Fund invests US$1.5bn in Chehaoduo Group

The SoftBank Vision Fund, SoftBank’s US$100bn investment arm focused on tech firms and startups, has invested $1.5bn in Chinese used car retailer Chehaoduo Group.

Beijing-based Chehaoduo, a driver of innovation in the industry, will use this capital injection to develop products and services to cater to evolving customer needs as well as support its own technology investments.

In its statement, Chehaoduo said that it also intends to broaden its marketing strategy to include offline stores and fresh business operations.

Chehaoduo, which owns Guazi.com and Maoduo.com, leverages a combination of big data analytics and AI for intelligent analysis and pricing in China’s fragmented second-hand car market.

“The global automotive industry is experiencing unprecedented change and with this change comes great opportunities,” Mark Yang, the CEO of Chehaoduo Group, said in the statement.

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“The application of big data and artificial intelligence is the key to fundamental reform of automotive retail in China.”

Eric Chen, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, added:

"China's used car market is growing rapidly but online penetration remains low and auto financing is underutilized compared to developed markets. In just three years, Chehaoduo Group, through the Guazi brand, has leveraged the latest innovations in data-driven technology to establish China's leading car trading platform. 

“The company has a bold vision with technology at its center to underpin an industry network that will support transformative growth of the market."

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