Chinese Auto Services Platform Tuhu Gears Up for Hong Kong IPO

Automobile service platform Tuhu submitted its prospectus on Monday at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx), with Goldman Sachs, CICC, Bank of America and UBS as co-sponsors. Market sources indicate that Tuhu plans to raise $700 million in its forthcoming public listing. 2021 witnessed a flurry of rumors surrounding a potential Tuhu IPO – all were officially denied by the firm.

Founded in Shanghai in 2011, Tuhu is a platform focusing on after-car services and car maintenance, providing online reservations plus offline installation of car maintenance.

According to the prospectus, Tuhu covers most passenger car models sold in China, specifically covering 239 brands and more than 44,000 models, satisfying a full range of automobile needs, ranging from tire and chassis parts replacement to car maintenance, repair and beauty.

The prospectus also shows that Tuhu has not yet made a profit. According to the data, the firm achieved revenue of 7.04 billion yuan ($1.11 billion) and 8.753 billion yuan ($1.38 billion) in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The losses were 3.428 billion yuan ($541.33 million) and 3.928 billion yuan ($620.29 million), respectively. As of the first three quarters of last year, the company’s revenue reached 8.441 billion yuan ($1.33 billion), an increase of nearly 42% year-on-year, and the loss attributable to shareholders was 4.435 billion yuan ($700.36 million), a year-on-year increase of 63%.

As of September 30, 2021, Tuhu’s online interface had 72.8 million registered users, and within one year of the aforementioned period, it had 13.9 million trading users, an increase of 35.6% year-on-year. According to China Insights Consultancy, the monthly active users of Tuhu reached 10 million in September 2021, making it the largest car owner community gathered by Chinese automobile service providers.

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The prospectus reveals that the fundraising of Tuhu will continue to be used for business expansion, including upgrading supply chain capabilities, and R&D of platform systems and data analysis technologies. It expands the store network and franchisee base to further strengthen the relationship with franchisees. The company provides new energy car owners with investments related to automobile services and investment in tools and equipment related to such services. 

In terms of financing, Tuhu has been treated favorably in capital markets. Since its establishment, Tuhu has received 16 rounds of financing, with a total fundraising of over 9.1 billion yuan ($1.44 billion), and has been invested by Tencent, Baidu, Goldman Sachs, Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia China, Qiming Venture Partners, Joy Capital, Legend Capital, CICC, Haitong Kaiyuan, CCB International and many other institutions.