Chinese carpool and ride-sharing app Tiantian Yongche, has announced the completion of a C series funding round led by Baidu, followed by Sequoia Capital. Although the amount was not disclosed, the company claims its valuation is now close to US$200 million.
Despite being founded just eight months ago, the company has rushed through three rounds of funding, completing its series A in September 2014, series B in December and now a series C round on April 10th. The company claims they have set the record for the quickest series of O2O investments.
In its attempt to become a leading ride-sharing app in China, the company has rolled out a multi-approach service, releasing one-on-one, point-to-point, carpool and rides-sharing models. To ensure passenger safety, the company also came up with a name authentication system for car owners and the passengers.
Currently, Tiantian Yongche covers the domestic market in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Chengdu and some other smaller Chinese cities.
After this round of funding, the company claims it will invest in a stronger team, upgrade its product user experience, and launch in many more cities. Company CEO Diguang Longzeng remarked that the service will attempt to cover 60 cities by the end of this year.
Baidu appears to be diversifying their share of the China ride-sharing market. Earlier this year they announced an investment in San Francisco-based Uber, for an undisclosed amount. In light of the merger between Tencent-backed Didi Dache and Alibaba-backed Kuaidi, Baidu is possibly consolidating their interest in the consumer transport market.
Image Credit: Tiantian Yongche
Editing bu Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)