The car-sharing operator Mydadao (大道用车) announced that it has, over the last few months, closed three funding rounds, which together have helped it raise tens of millions of US dollars. The initial two funding rounds were led respectively by Baidu Ventures and Sequoia Capital China. The latest round was led by BAI, alongside Volcanics Venture and its existing investors.
Founded in October 2017 in Beijing, Mydadao first charged into Qingdao, Shandong in December 2017, where it launched car sharing services covering all main districts of the city.
The company, with its fleet composed predominantly of electric cars, has so far put over 2,000 cars onto the streets. And its cars can be picked up and parked anywhere, provided, of course, that the place is a legal parking lot, not some random open space. When asked about the total number of the company’s cars, customers, orders and average daily orders, LIU Hui, CEO of Mydadao, buttoned his lips, but said that “they are all above the performance of all other players in the field”.
Clearly, the company had chosen the timing to jump on the bandwagon of car-sharing for a reason. The external climate earlier, as LIU puts it, had not been very favorable for the development of the car-sharing business. But, things have turned for the better now that the sharing economy has won the support of the government and people are more approval of the idea of sharing thanks to the bike sharing business and those pioneering car-sharing operators.
Operational efficiency, as LIU sees it, is the deciding factor of whether a company can get ahead in the competition or not. And that’s the area where Mydadao has been investing heavily in. According to LIU, the operation of the company is largely driven by technology and data, this is thanks in large part to Baidu Ventures’ joining Mydadao as an investor, which has enabled Mydadao to cooperate with Baidu on many aspects. For instance, many of the company’s decisions, including the selection of cities, management of parking charges, recharging of the cars and operation, are made based on data analysis.
Its core team is made up of former employees from the car rental service provider CAR Inc. (神州租车) and internet firms. Graduated with an EMBA from the National School of Development at Peking University, the company’s CEO LIU has previously worked as vice president, a startup member, in CAR Inc., where he took charge of strategic cooperation, cars management, selling of used cars and operation in different regions.
In 2018, LIU looks to further refine the company’s business model in Qingdao and clone that model in other cities once it comes to fruition.