Softbank & Google To Invest In China Truck-Hailing Firm

Japan’s Softbank Group and Alphabet Inc’s venture capital fund CapitalG are among investors pouring emptying $1.9 billion into a truck hailing administration stage Manbang, the Chinese organization said in an announcement on Tuesday.

Manbang, formally known as Full Truck Alliance Group, said the venture was driven by SoftBank’s Vision Fund – which checks Apple Inc, Foxconn and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign riches subsidize among its sponsor.

Investors also include state-backed private equity firm China Reform Fund and Hong Kong-based investment firm Ward Ferry, said Manbang.

The investment will help Manbang develop new business areas and markets, the company said. Around 5.2 million out of China’s 7 million trunk line trucks are members of the Full Truck Alliance, Manbang added.

Manbang, often described as China’s “Uber for trucks”, runs an app that allows shippers to connect with truck drivers, tapping into demand for haulage in one of the world’s busiest markets for goods transport.

The investment was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing sources, who said the fundraising would put the company’s valuation north of $6 billion.

Manbang CEO Wang Gang said in a statement that the firm would use much of the funds “to recruit talent”, which when necessary could include making acquisitions.

“The deal has brought Manbang’s development into a new stage,” Wang said, adding it would help the firm “become the world’s largest platform in terms of transportation capacity.”

Meanwhile, Google’s parent company Alphabet has reported a more than 20 percent increase in revenue in the company’s latest financial results.

The technology giant’s newly released quarterly figures show a revenue rise of $US31.1 billion, up 26 percent on the same period last year.

The strong figures were also supported by a net income rise of almost $US4b to more than $US9.4b, on the same three months in 2017 – a leap of almost 73 percent.

Analysts attributed it to an increase in profits from internet advertising.

Google continues to generate the vast majority of Alphabet’s revenue and income – $US30.9b of the $US31.1b revenue came from Google’s portion of the business, which includes the search engine, as well as hardware such as the Pixel smartphone and Google Home line of smart speakers.

“Our ongoing strong revenue growth reflects our momentum globally, up 26% versus the first quarter of 2017 and 23% on a constant currency basis to 31.1 billion dollars,” Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat said.

“We have a clear set of exciting opportunities ahead, and our strong growth enables us to invest in them with confidence.”

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