SouChe.com, the Chinese car trading website, raised $335 million in venture capital funding, led by eCommerce giant Alibaba.
According to news from Bloomberg, other investors that took part in the round of funding included Warburg Pincus, Primavera Capital and CMB International. With the latest round of funding, the company is valued at anywhere from $1 billion to $2 billion, reported Bloomberg, citing Yao Junhong, the founder of SouChe.
The company sells used Chinese cars from dealerships around the country. As the economy begins to slow, interest among car buyers is growing for used vehicles. In addition to selling used cars, SouChe.com provides financing for customers to purchase new cars and trucks for a year. After that, they can purchase the vehicle, trade it in for a new model or give it back to the company.
Yao told Bloomberg that SouChe.com is mulling an initial public offering (IPO) and that if it does, it will have a bigger valuation that Qudian, the Chinese provider of online credit products.
“We are considering a U.S. IPO for next year, potentially toward the end of the year,” Yao said in the report. “But our finances are strong, so we may not have to do it.”
Alibaba’s financial arm Ant Financial had invested in an earlier round of venture capital fundraising for the company and works with SouChe.com to finance products via TanGeChe. Bloomberg noted more than 50,000 Chinese cars have been sold via financing based on data Alibaba culls on customers to determine their creditworthiness.
The company expects to reach $22.6 billion in gross merchandise volume, which also equals the value of all the cars sold on the platform in 2017. In the past year, the company has raised $615 million in venture funding.
But the car trading website is not the only player in the sector in China. Renrenche.com raised $200 million in September from ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing. Meanwhile, Uxin Group raised $500 million this year.