Chinese power bank sharing startup Energy Monster has raised an RMB 500 million (USD 71.3 million) Series C round led by SoftBank Vision Fund, with participation from existing investors including Hillhouse Capital and Shunwei Capital, local tech media 36Kr reported citing multiple sources.
While the new round involves a bevy of investor participants, some institutions are still undergoing a process to partake in the financing, but the funding amount and investors roster have been confirmed, according to the same sources 36Kr spoke to.
Founded in 2017, Energy Monster is a power bank sharing company that offers power bank rental services in stores and restaurants. The company offers two types of power bank rental services, including table chargers that are fixated on tables located in restaurants and bars, and portable power banks that allow for more flexibility to be removed and taken away from the renter machine. Energy Monster has a presence in more than 1,300 cities in China and provides service to more than 100 million users nationwide, according to the company website.
This new funding marks the fifth round Energy Monster has raised over a time span of two years, since its seed round in 2017 with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi as one of the backers. Energy Monster has integrated Xiaomi’s resources and support to expand its business. It works with Xiaomi’s power bank manufacturer ZMI to develop its own power banks.
This new round of funding comes as the power bank sharing sector is gaining renewed momentum in 2019. The number of Chinese shared power bank users will reach more than 305 million by the end of 2019, and 408 million in 2020, according to market researcher iiMedia Research. Other players include AnkerBox, Xiaodian, and Laidian.
Vision Fund’s investment in Energy Monster indicates a shift in its investment strategies to generating more cash flow, as US office-sharing startup WeWork’s canceled IPO stirred doubts about the tech fund. One possible reason for SoftBank’s investment was that the power bank sharing business has been proven to a profitable business, an investor told 36Kr.
36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.