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Chinese truck-hailing startup raises $1.7bn

SoftBank and Tencent among investors in Full Truck Alliance

Trucks in China's Shandong province in September. Full Truck Alliance, a Chinese startup that connects truck drivers with shippers, has raised $1.7 billion in a funding round.   © AP

HONG KONG -- Full Truck Alliance, a Chinese startup that connects truck drivers with shippers, said it has raised $1.7 billion from a group of renowned investors including SoftBank's Vision Fund, Sequoia, Permira and Fidelity.

Known as Manbang Group in China, the startup was formed in 2017 through a merger of two rivalry truck matching platforms after years of cash-burning competition in the industry.

The company generates revenues through an Uber-like service for trucks, matching drivers with people who need to ship cargos. It also provides other integrated services such as financing.

Yunfeng Capital, founded by Alibaba Group's Jack Ma, Tencent Holdings, GGV Capital and Hillhouse Capital are also among the investors in the founding round, the company said in a statement on its WeChat account on Tuesday.

The funds will be used to enhance its research and development ability, and expand its services including door-to-door deliveries, it said. The platform has 10 million registered drivers and 5 million shippers.

The investments could value the company at $12 billion as it plans an initial public offering next year, Bloomberg has reported.

The Chinese truck startup drew backers including Google's parent Alphabet Inc, and state-backed state-backed China Reform Fund in a previous financing round in 2018, when it raised $1.9 billion.

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