Auto site E-mao raises $58 million US in China
20 Jan 2017
E-mao, an auto site in China, raised RMB 400 million ($58 million U.S.) in Series B funding from an undisclosed investor. The company also announced FY2016 earnings of RMB 2 million and total facilitated transactions of RMB 500 million in the period.
While the capital injection of RMB 400 million wasn’t up to the levels of some of E-mao.com’s competitors, capital has become scarcer in an increasingly saturated Chinese auto classifieds sector, and the amount can still be seen as a positive sign for the company.
E-mao is an online-to-offline platform that combines online purchasing, information, and assistance with a network of more than 1,000 offline brick-and-mortar locations, that offer servicing and aftersales services.
This sets E-mao apart from the traditional models of auto classifieds giants AutoHome (NYSE: ATHM) and BitAuto (NYSE: BITA), which seldom venture into offline infrastructure.
This may be changing in the future, however, as China witnesses a growing tendency in automotive ecommerce to stress offline services. The online-to-offline models popularized by sites, such as E-mao and second-hand platform Chemao, are proof of this trend. Chemao raised RMB 1.2 billion late in 2015.
E-mao plans on expanding its offline network to 3,000 sites, and on pushing towards a total sales volume of five million vehicles. It also plans to expand into c-to-b and b-to-c models. The company is targeting smaller regional cities, where aftersales services are dominated by “4s stores”, that are typically viewed as untrustworthy by Chinese consumers.