Chinese office IT equipment renter Little Bear Rental has recently closed a Series C from Tencent that valued the company at over RMB 2 billion (USD 284.2 million), local tech media 36Kr reported today citing people close to the deal.
Although the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, the same people 36Kr spoke to estimates the amount of funding to be at least RMB 50 million (USD 7.1 million), based on the current valuation and Tencent’s 2.5% stake in the company.
Little Bear Rental declined to comment on 36Kr’s inquiries, while Tencent didn’t respond.
Launched in 2018, Little Bear Rental provides services including long- and short-term office IT equipment rental, equipment recycling, technical support, and enterprise asset management software. The Shenzhen-based company has provided office facilities to more than 30,000 companies including Chinese internet giants Alibaba, Baidu, and Bytedance, video streaming site iQiyi, and telecom giant Huawei.
The new round marks the fifth funding round that Little Bear Rental completed since its RMB 100 million Series A in May 2018. Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has made investments at least twice in the previous rounds. Little Bear Rental also teamed up with JD.com to provide enterprises with smart office solutions based on the latter’s warehouse management system and its logistics and delivery services.
Tencent will offer its platform and resources to Little Bear Rental after this funding round by introducing customers of Tencent Cloud to the rental platform and adding it to the SaaS (Software as a Service) accelerator based on Tencent Cloud.
Tencent’s investment in Little Bear Rental is one of the tech giant’s latest moves towards the SaaS and corporate service sector. Also based in Shenzhen, Tencent has invested nearly RMB 20 billion in more than 50 corporate service companies during the past three years, 36Kr reported citing data from research company itjuzi.com.
IT equipment rental is growing to be an RMB 100 billion (USD 14.2 billion) market in China, according to a research report published last year. In the U.S., rental makes up 60% to 70% of the overall office IT supply market. While in China the penetrate rate of supply rental has been lower than 5% over the past decade, speaking to a huge potential market.
36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.