Issue 35 | May 7, 2018

A Big Deal: Manbang Group Raises $1.9B from SoftBank and Others

China’s “Uber for trucks,” Manbang Group, has raised $1.9 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund, CapitalG (formerly known as “Google Capital”), and other investors.

Manbang Group runs a mobile app that connects truck drivers with shippers looking to transport cargo. It is the result of a merger last November between two companies, Yunmanman and Huochebang. GGV was an investor in Yunmanman.

Currently, 1.25 million out of the 1.5 million logistics companies in China are members of Manbang. The company has also expanded into new services such as providing vehicle loans, insurance, and working capital to its users.

“This is a great example of mobile Internet enhancing the efficiency of an offline sector,” said Jixun Foo, managing partner at GGV Capital, who led our investment in Yunmanman before its merger with Huochebang.

A Number
61% – the YoY growth of Alibaba’s fiscal fourth-quarter revenue

Alibaba posted better-than-expected 61% revenue growth for the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, fueled by strong e-commerce business.

The company’s fourth-quarter revenue surged to 61.9 billion yuan ($9.9 billion). Alibaba’s core commerce business grew 62% year-on-year to 51.3 billion yuan ($8 billion), while its cloud computing business grew 103% to 4.4 billion yuan ($692 million). Management projected 60% revenue growth for the 2019 fiscal year.

Alibaba’s net profit declined 29% year-on-year in the quarter to 7.6 billion yuan ($1.2 billion), reflecting increased spending to expand its business reach to brick-and-mortar retail, cloud computing, and logistics, the company reported.

A Big Deal: Tencent Leads $820M Investment in Robot Maker Ubtech
Shenzhen-based artificial intelligence and humanoid robotic company Ubtech Robotics (优必选) completed an $820 million funding round led by Tencent, valuing the company at $5 billion. The round made Ubtech the world’s most valuable AI startup.

Founded in 2012, Ubtech is a developer of consumer humanoid robots for business, entertainment, and educational purposes. It aims to “bring a robot into every home.” The company’s products are available in more than 40 countries. Its offerings include an educational robot for kids, a humanoid service robot, and a Star Wars-inspired Stormtrooper robot.

The company’s Alpha 1S robot holds the Guinness World Record for “most robots dancing simultaneously.” During the CCTV 2016 Spring Festival Gala, China’s most-watched TV program, one of the performances featured 540 Ubtech robots dancing on stage.

A Quote:
“China’s internet landscape has evolved from BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) to ATM (Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi).”
– Fu Sheng, CEO of Cheetah Mobile

A Read on Xiaomi:
Xiaomi’s Application Proof (draft) for IPO that was submitted to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last week.

Listen to Lin Bin, co-founder of Xiaomi, discuss the company’s meteoric rise in 2017 on the 996 Podcast, available on iTunesOvercastSpotifySoundCloud, or wherever else you listen to podcasts.

Note: Xiaomi is a GGV portfolio company. Hans Tung, managing partner at GGV Capital, is an early investor and former board member of Xiaomi.