Beijing-based car fueling services provider Newlinks Technology (能链集团), also known as Chezhubang (车主邦), has announced a CNY 110 million (USD 15.6 million) Series C funding round, led by VC firm Joy Capital (愉悦资本). Other investors include NIO Capital (蔚来资本) and South Korea-based investment firm KIP (Korean Investment Partners) China.
Co-founded in 2016 by its CEO Zhen Dai (戴震), Newlinks works as a car refueling service app, which mainly provides a one-button carless refueling service. The app recommends the nearest gas station to drivers based on their location. Then through their phones, they can pay the bill by pressing one button – so there is no need to get out of the car during refueling.
Moreover, the transport company also provides other services including car maintenance, 4s services, tire services, legal inquiries, auto insurance car care, and other services.
This is the third time this year the company has carried out a fundraising. After completing its latest funding, the firm’s total fundraising has reached over CNY 1 billion (USD 144 million), with a valuation between USD 252 and 377 million (Aug 2019).
In June, American counterpart high-tech mobile fuel delivery service, Booster Fuels, raised its Series C funding round, worth USD 56 million and led by New York-based Private Equity (PE) firm Invus Opportunities.
Founded in 2015 by its CEO Frank Mycroft, the company claims to be number one in the United States in providing fuel delivery service. Through the app, users can request gas from Booster with a few buttons, and soon a purpose-built mini-tanker appears to refuel the vehicle.
Fuel delivery services are one of the many business technology-driven ideas that have been catching investor interest around the world. Although it is built on a simple model, it requires effort from the company’s employees to deliver the services on time and to the right place; it also requires a well-trained operational and logistical team, particularly in locations that park large numbers of cars, where demand is higher than supply.
Nevertheless, the business will remain promising as long as the electric car industry has not yet conquered the market; as anyone who has got stuck out motoring with diminishing fuel knows well, there is no better solution than having your tanker refueled at your location ‘– no need to even look around.’