ChinaTravelNews, Flymer Huang - ChinaTravelNews learned that Huizhuche, an overseas car rental platform for Chinese travelers, has been acquired by tours and activities booking startup Klook.
Shanghai-based Huizhuche was one of the major online car rental platform for Chinese travelers abroad. Its three co-founders had all worked at the Trip.com Group prior to the founding of the car hire company.
Huizhuche has a service network of over 50,000 outlets, covering 5,000 cities in around 180 countries and serving nearly 4 million users worldwide.
A source told ChinaTravelNews that Klook spent less than USD 10 million in its acquisition of Huizhuche, a price tag much lower than the car rental firm's claimed value of hundreds of millions of US dollars after its series B round. The founders of Huizhuche will continue to work at the company after Klook's acquisition.
In reply to ChinaTravelNews's inquiry about the deal, Klook said there's currently no relevant information about it. Huizhuche declined to comment on the matter.
Some industry observers said Klook's acquisition of Huizhuche did not come as a surprise as the car rental company will strengthen Klook's ground transport service capabilities in destinations and provide more inventory.
Hong Kong-based Klook has further tapped into international markets like Europe, America and Australia since the company's USD 225 million series D+ round financing in 2019.
But the company's home turf market of Hong Kong has experienced months of social unrest and now is also heavily impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Klook's major investor Softbank is also facing increasing pressure concerning the return of investment on its betted startups like WeWork, Uber and OYO.
An analyst said the prospect of the Hong Kong market is now hardly enough to convince investors about Klook's future growth, so the startup needs to find a new growth engine. (Translated by Jerry)