Alibaba leads $335mn investment in Chinese online car sales start-up

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has led a $335mn investment in a Chinese online car sales start-up.

The start-up, SouChe, is based in Hangzhou and offers digital sales solutions to brick-and-mortar car dealers across China, which is the biggest automobile market in the world.

SouChe was founded in 2012 and already has 110,000 offline dealers registered as clients – this amounts to almost two-thirds of dealerships in the country. 

The firm embraces “new retail” in a combination of online, offline, logistics and dats across a single value-chain.

It affords car dealers the opportunity to manage offline inventory and keep track pf potential buyers, in addition to online marketing.

See also:  

One billionaire created every two days in Asia 

Industry in China soars by 27% 

November issue of Business Review Asia - out now! 

Although the amount Alibaba has invested was not disclosed, it will be the biggest investor in SouChe in its step to break into the automobile industry and blend online and offline retail.

Other investors include Warburg Pincus, Primavera Capital and CMB International.

This will be the fifth funding round for SouChe, which has raised a total of $635.4mn.

According to the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, the founder and chief executive of SouChe, Yao Junhong has stated: “Pure e-commerce is not going to be the best solution for car sales in China… people want to go to a store to see, touch and try out a car before they place an order. Not to mention all kinds of after-sales services that can only be provided in brick-and-mortar stores.”

Yao is confident that not only will Alibaba’s investment help financially, but the relationship will benefit car dealers (and SouChe) greatly. “By teaming up with Alibaba, which is the dominant player in e-commerce, we can bring our offline dealers the best traffic to boost their online presence and further expand our offline retail. Together, we can build a seamless new automobile retail platform which is expected to improve efficiency for car sales by taking full advantage of the internet and big data.”

Share

Featured Articles

People Moves: Pine Labs, Deutsche Bank, McKinsey, Fortinet

Pine Labs names former Amazon exec as chief people officer, Fortinet hires government affairs leader for APAC, McKinsey India poaches Accenture HR exec

Dialight envisions a world of industrial safety with LEDs

Reliance on inefficient lighting technologies are not only harmful to the environment, but also increase injury risk and cost

Top 10: Must-see speakers at TECH LIVE LONDON 2022 event

Technology leaders from IBM, Oracle, Vodafone, JP Morgan, Accenture and the US Space Force are among the 80-plus speakers at upcoming TECH LIVE LONDON

Vodafone Business cyber leader Kawalec speaks at Cyber LIVE

Leadership & Strategy

Twitter timeline – how Musk pulled off a hostile takeover

Leadership & Strategy

Top 10 Asia restaurants, from Tokyo’s Den to Bangkok’s Sorn

Leadership & Strategy