Shanghai-based Lantu Information Technology, operator of car maintenance B2C platform Tuhu, has raked in nearly $100 USD in series C funding from Joy Capital, Welkin, Far East Horizon and Haitong. Existing investors, Legend Capital and Qiming Venture Partners, also participated.
The investment is earmarked for team, technology and offline expansion in a bid to maintain sustainable growth in the company.
Founded in 2011, Tuhu provides automobile after-sales products and services through its website, mobile app, call center and major third party e-commerce platforms. Tuhu offers same-day or next-day delivery and installation services at one of over 6,500 individual local service store partners in more than 260 cities across Mainland China.
Tuhu customers can purchase a wide range of automobile products and services online such as tires, maintenance products, accessories and car wash services. Based on a customer’s car make, model, year and mileage, Tuhu’s website or mobile app is able to generate a customised list of recommended products, all of which can be delivered to and installed at a local service store. Tuhu is also growing its automobile services business, allowing customers to reserve car washes, waxing and other services with a local partner.
The company has recorded sales of 300 million RMB in 2014 and expects this figure to hit 1.5 billion this year.
After bagging a RMB 7-digit angel funding in February 2012, the startup has received USD 7-digit Series A financing from Qiming Venture Partners in January 2013, and USD 7-digit Series B funding in July 2014 from Legend Capital.
Driven by an aging car fleet and rising second-hand car market, China’s automobile after-sales market is expected to exceed 760 billion RMB ($123.53 billion USD) this year, according to government statistics.
As major internet companies like Tencent are trying to explore the market, the auto after-sales sector is becoming crowded. The whole industry is expected to experience a major reshuffle while more players in the field are facing problems in retaining customers or converting them to paid users.
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