BEIJING, Sept. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — uuzuche.com, the private car sharing platform, announced that it has received $10 million in Series A funding. The financing is led by Lightspeed China Partners, with participating from China Renaissance K2 Ventures and Angel Investor Wang Gang. It is said to be the biggest venture investment so far in a peer-to-peer (P2P) car rental business in China.
uuzuche.com was one of the earliest P2P car-sharing platforms in China, providing a peer-to-peer car sharing service between car owners and drivers, based on the idea of a "community sharing economy", with most user members joining via the company’s UU-rental mobile application.
With this platform, private car owners can be matched to "tenants", drivers who have private transportation needs but lack a car, through online dispatching. Tenants can easily find a cost-effective car, usually nearby in their own neighborhood, quickly and easily. Once the deal is made, car owners get a quick, reasonable payment.
Different from other P2P car sharing firms, however, uuzuche.com is more focused on the service surrounding the neighborhood community. The idea is to smooth out the rental and return process into a "Seamless Docking". The P2P channel makes the car rental price 30% lower than traditional costs, making it a more economic and environmental solution for those who need a vehicle.
As this new model continues to fascinate car owners and drivers, uuzuche.com has also promoted a series of steps to strengthen its service system. It signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Allianz Global Assistance in July, who will provide a full set of road support programs, including 10 major and 40 minor items across China, such as battery charging, tire changing, water filling, oil filling, online fault diagnosis, accident rescuing and medical support, among other services. This August, uuzuche.com also cooperated with SAIC Motors to build a package of services through its 4S car dealerships, including online sharing of cars and a long-term test driving service.
At present, uuzuche.com is operating in four big cities, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Sanya, with a membership of over 10,000 car owners.
"We are optimistic about the development of the sharing economy in many traditional industries," said Han Yan, Partner at Lightspeed China Partners. "Being a typical model of the sharing economy, P2P car sharing has already been a mature business model in foreign countries. Private car sharing platforms like uuzuche.com not only can help to optimize a city’s vehicle resources and help create a well-structured environment, but also can help with the remission of traffic and encouraging greener driving patterns. We also have faith in the team at uuzuche.com, who care about service details and are continuously working to improve their safety features, experience and other aspects."
uuzuche.com has said that the proceeds raised during this first round will be used to expand the services to other tier-1 & tier-2 cities, the hiring and the education of local operation teams and brand building.
Based on current experience, uuzuche.com has great confidence in the Chinese domestic market and will speed up the development to meet demand, especially in tier-1 & tier-2 cities. It expects to be able to cover all major markets in China by late June, 2015.