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Alibaba completes surprising investment in UCAR with a 10% stake

03/24/2016| 5:08:53 PM| ChinaTravelNews 中文

Alibaba is said to have completed its investment in B2C chauffeured service UCAR, splashing out RMB 3 billion in exchange for nearly 10% of UCAR’s shares.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is said to have completed its investment in B2C chauffeured service UCAR, splashing out RMB 3 billion in exchange for nearly 10% of UCAR’s shares, according to a report of LanJing TMT (“蓝鲸TMT”) on March 24. 

LanJing TMT released a screenshot of a stock transfer book provided by a UCAR investor. The paper carries the signature of Mr. Charles Lu, CEO executive director and CEO of CAR Inc. Among the shareholder names listed in the paper are Alibaba.com China Limited (“阿里巴巴网络中国有限公司”) and Alibaba.com (“阿里巴巴(中国)网络技术有限公司”). The paper also said the two Alibaba companies hold respectively 33,597,312 shares and 33,597,312 shares of UCAR, or 67,194,624 shares combined, which is approximately 9.8% of the total 688,312,935 UCAR shares. 

LanJing TMT also reported that UCAR’s post-money valuation is about RMB 30 billion. Alibaba’s UCAR stake of 9.8% works out to be worth about RMB 3 billion. The chauffeured service company completed its B-round funding in September 2015 valued at RMB 23 billion (about USD 3.55 billion). 

It is worth noting that the e-commerce giant has previously invested in similar car-hailing company Kuaididache, and later became a shareholder of the consolidated Didi Kuaidi. This makes Alibaba’s latest investment in Didi’s competitor UCAR a bit perplexing.

An industry analyst comments the investment may indicate that Alibaba has all but given up its contest against peer internet giant Tencent for the stake of the C2C-focused Didi and has instead trained its sight on the B2C-model UCAR, which Alibaba may consider more promising

Launched by Chinese car rental firm CAR Inc. in January 2015, UCAR received US$250 million from Warburg Pincus LLC, parent company Car Inc., Legend Holdings and other investors in a series A funding round in July 2015.

As of 03/24/2016 6:00 p.m. GMT+8, the report on the investment has not been confirmed by either Alibaba or UCAR. (Translated by Jerry)

TAGS: Alibaba | UCAR | car-hailing | investments
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