Car sharing app iCarsClub has secured $10 million in series A funding, the startup revealed today. It operates in Singapore under the iCarsClub name, and in mainland China as PPZuche (pictured above).
iCarsClub managing director Clifford Teo tells Tech in Asia that the funding comes from Sequoia Capital
China, Crystal Stream Capital, Wang Xing (the CEO of daily deals site Meituan), Zhuang Chenchao (CEO of travel booking site Qunar), and Huang Mingming (Future Capital). It’s notable that all those investors are Chinese, but Teo says that the funding will go towards both the Chinese and Singapore services.
iCarsClub first came to our attention in Singapore in late 2012. The team – comprised of four mainland Chinese entrepreneurs – expanded to China with PPZuche in October last year. Initially it ran in just the capital, Beijing. But today the startup is expanding the car sharing app to two more Chinese cities: Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Teo explains that PPZuche has 25,000 personal cars available for rental in Beijing, and iCarsClub has 1,400 in Singapore. (Update: Added in figure for Singapore).
In both Singapore and China, the service works entirely via the app for drivers. You locate a nearby car that’s available, and then use the app for key-less entry. Car owners who take part in the service get to make money from their vehicle when it would otherwise be idle. Car owners get a special box that communicates with the app.
The Chinese version of the service faces rivalry from other peer-to-peer car lending apps such as Baojia, which raised $5 million just last week. But Baojia only operates in the capital, so PPZuche is speeding ahead by expanding to other ‘tier one’ cities in the mainland.