Chinese ride-sharing startup T3 Travel announced the completion of its Round A financing on Tuesday, amounting to 7.7 billion yuan ($1.2 billion), which was led by CITIC Consortium. This is the largest financing obtained by online car-hailing companies in China since 2018.
Investors in this funding round include Yingtong Technology, online travel platform Tongcheng, Redview Capital and Virtue Capital, T3 said in a statement. Old shareholders such as FAW, Dongfeng, Changan, Alibaba and Tencent also joined in this round.
At the press conference, T3 also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with CITIC Investment Holdings, under which both parties will unite the strength of their partners across various fields to jointly create a new ecological circle of smart travel.
“T3 travel will continue to focus on users and drivers, and increase investment in autonomous driving and other businesses,” Cui Dayong, CEO of T3 Mobile Travel Services, said at the press conference.
T3’s IPO plan also attracted much attention from the public. Cui responded that the company will definitely go to public, but completing an IPO is not the most urgent project for the company at present. It is certain that the company won’t debut overseas.
T3 was officially launched in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province in July 2019. Up to now, it has covered 41 cities across China, with more than 54 million registered users. On September 30 of this year, its order volume exceeded 2 million, breaking a record.
T3’s latest funding round comes as ride-hailing companies step up efforts to take market share from China’s market leader Didi Global Inc., which is facing a cybersecurity investigation by domestic authorities. T3, along with other ride-hailing companies, including Meituan and Geely’s Caocao Chuxing, is offering promotions to attract more users. However, compliance with the law and user experience are the key for them to stand out.