A report in the column Frontline by Tencent News said on Monday that Huolala, a Chinese transport platform, recently hired CCB International and Bank of America as sponsors for its listing in Hong Kong. According to the news report, the company may submit its listing application as soon as the end of the month. In their response to the statement, Huolala said that “the company has been paying attention to the capital market, but there is no specific plan and timetable for listing.”
According to information on the official website of Huolala, the company was founded in 2013, with major businesses centered on local express delivery and cargo delivery services. It was mainly involved in catering, decoration engineering, furniture and retail. As of May 2021, their business scope has covered 363 mainland Chinese cities, with an average of 620,000 active drivers and 8 million active users in each month.
Data from enterprise inquiry platform Qixinbao indicated that Huolala has raised eight rounds of funds totaling $2.46 billion in the past six years. The company just announced in January this year the completion of an F Round of fundraising worth $1.5 billion, less than a month after completing an E Round for $550 million in 2020. The leading investor in the latter round was Hillhouse Capital, which was rumored to have a valuation of $10 billion at that time.
As the report revealed, an insider who participated in this fundraising round once said that Bank of America has served as the consultant in the F round of fundraising. Just at that moment, the market showed great interest in investing in Huolala, with some institutions even unable to reach the fundraising quota.
However, shortly after their announcement, in February 2021, an fatal incident in which a 23-year-old girl jumped out of a window in a Huolala car attracted widespread attention.
Subsequently, on the evening of February 21, Huolala released an explanation of the incident, giving their official account of the story. As the release said, on February 6, Ms. Che, a customer in Changsha, made an appointment on the platform but jumped out of the car during the journey. The driver of the order service immediately dialed ‘120’ to request emergency services. Later, Ms. Che died due to ineffective treatment.
On February 24, Huolala issued an announcement with an apology for its handling of the incident, putting forward seven specific rectification measures and limiting the rectification period to a specific time period. Topics related to the safety of online car booking platforms have aroused heated discussion in society as a result.