Chinese electric car-sharing service Mango Chuxing (芒果出行) recently announced raising tens of millions RMB in a pre-A round from China’s Wenxin Group as local new energy vehicle-sharing market burgeons in China’s push to bring more environment-friendly automobiles to the road.
The strategic investment will be used towards fleet and city expansion, in addition to technology and operations upgrade, big data R&D, etc., according to the company.
Founded in early last year, Mango Chuxing came to life in China’s southern coastal city Shenzhen in last April. Similar to other services, customers use an app to locate and unlock available vehicles on the streets. The service charges an annual fee of RMB 499 (US$ 79) in addition to an RMB 0.15 (US$ 0.02) per-minute rate and RMB 0.7 – 0.88 (US$ 0.11 – 0.14) per-kilometer rate.
It claimed to be the No.1 in its home market Shenzhen, with plans to expand into other cities and provinces including Beijing, Hangzhou, Sichuan, Hubei and Shandong in 2018. In addition, Mango Chuxing will be venturing into Australia and New Zealand through a strategic tie-up with MEVO, a New Zealand car-sharing service.
Dr. LAI Xin, founder of the Shenzhen-based company, once said that Chinese electric car-sharing is still in its infant stage, facing challenges from the market and regulatory policies.
According to a China Association of Automobile Manufacturers prediction, there will be more than 1 billion licensed drivers against up to 300 million cars on the roads due to limited road resources, meaning at least 700 million driver ID holders will have to drive a rental car. This speaks to a vast potential market for burgeoning Chinese car-sharing services.
To tap into that market, Mango Chuxing, as a new entrant, is looking at an uphill battle with some of its rivals, including Togo, Meitian-Dianping, EVCARD alike. All are well financed.
Earlier this year, Togo announced to raise US$ 26 million in B round backed by CHP, SIG and ZhenFund for faster expansion. Shanghai-based EVCARD, which has operations in more than 40 Chinese cities, a fleet of over 24,000, and more than 1.6 million users, has struck a deal with BMW China to launch and operate BMW’s carsharing program ReachNow in China.
Meituan-Dianping, in addition to its pilot launch of ride-hailing in the city of Nanjing, also was reportedly testing the water of car-sharing in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, in last December.