The Chinese unicorn has started its international expansion.
Manbang Group (满帮集团) has finished a strategic investment in the Brazilian car and cargo matching platform TruckPad, and will also export its operational experience and technology to promote the development of TruckPad in Latin America.
The largest Chinese truck logistics unicorn, Manbang Group, is a merged company formed from Yunmanman and Huochebang; it provides truck-hailing services across the country. Like Uber, it acts as a middleman, connecting service providers to customers throughout the vast, freight-hungry economy.
After years of development, Manbang Group has accumulated mature operational experience, along with data analysis and application capabilities in smart car cargo matching, big data route recommendation, financial insurance services, etc. It has covered 339 cities in China and has seven million certified drivers and 2.25 million certified cargo owners.
In August, another cargo and truck-hailing platform, Lalamove (also known as Huolala in Chinese), a Hong Kong-based company, completed its first South American order in Brazil.
Meanwhile the Manbang Group, which specializes in medium and long-distance trunk logistics, also launched the first step of its internationalization in Brazil. This was closely related to Brazil's freight market and venture capital environment.
Unlike the mature railway transportation network in China, the total length of the Brazilian road network is 1.7 million kilometers. Road freight is the most important form of transportation in Brazil, accounting for about 60% of the total. The capacity is mostly scattered and disorderly.
In addition, the current penetration rate of Internet in Brazil is relatively low; the environment of information infrastructure is similar to the era of China's market before the mobile Internet wave.
Manbang Group CEO, Zhang Hui said: “TruckPad and its founding team have rich logistics experience, innovative ideas, and deep local insights, which will lead the platform to achieve greater development, and promote the logistics technology in Brazil and throughout Latin America. In addition, internationalization is an extremely important part of the development of the company. We will continue to focus on fast and emerging development markets, continue to invest in technology-enabled logistics innovation projects, and promote the transformation of the global logistics industry.
The valuation of Manbang surged to USD 6.5 billion, making the company a super unicorn (worth more than USD 1 billion) in the truck-hailing logistics industry. In September, Richard Zhang, Manbang Group's Chief Executive Officer, revealed to Bloomberg on September 13 that the company was considering an overseas IPO plan due to better financial performance – but the schedule was not clear yet. Besides, the company may seek one more funding round before its IPO.