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SoftBank invests in Chinese trucking startup Full Truck Alliance

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The funding will be used to upgrade its matching system and to provide door-to-door transportation services

Japan’s SoftBank has invested in Chinese digital freight hailing startup Full Truck Alliance through its Vision Fund. Other heavyweights such as Fidelity, Sequoia and Permira have also invested in the Chinese logistics startup.

According to Full Truck Alliance, it will use the funds raised from SoftBank and others for research and development (R&D) purposes. A fraction of it will be used to upgrade the companies technology and also to expand its door-to-door transportation services.

The startup, which services similar to Uber, but for trucks, raised around $1.7 billion in its latest funding round. The mega funding round saw the startup being valued at $12 billion. Full Truck Alliance, also known as Manbang Group in China, previously raised about $2 billion in early 2018 at a $6 billion valuation. The company claims it has over 10 million registered truck drivers and over 5 million truck owners on its platform.

Last month, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing (CFLP) revealed that China’s logistics sector has recovered steadily during the end of the third quarter this year. The CFLP data also revealed that total logistics revenue during the first nine months of 2020 recorded a 2 percent year-on-year growth to reach $30.16 trillion.

The logistics sector was one of the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as countries across the globe sealed its borders and cancelled all economic activities to curb the spread of the virus. However, as logistics and travel restrictions are slowly lifted and economic activities are returning to normalcy, the sector is gradually recovering.

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