Korean automotive car sharing startup SOCAR has filed for IPO - TechCrunch

Korean automotive car sharing startup SOCAR has filed for IPO

SOCAR, a South Korean car share startup, has filed for an initial public offering, announced Wednesday by the Korea Exchange. The details - the number of shares to be offered in the IPO and the price range - have not yet been confirmed, a spokesman for SOCAR said.

SOCAR has reached a valuation of approximately $ 834 billion (won 1 trillion) after raising $ 50.7 million (60 billion won) in October 2022. The company has raised approximately $ 275 million in total since its inception. founded in 2011, a company spokesman confirmed. According to media reports, SOCAR 's estimated valuation is $ 2.5 billion (won 3 trillion) after listing in the first half of this year.

Former investors include SK Holdings, Bain Capital, Premier Partners, SoftBank Ventures Asia, Altos Ventures, KB Investment, Stonebridge Ventures, LB Private Equity, SG Private Equity, and more.

The company plans to launch an excellent transportation app this year that will provide all-in-one mobility services such as car sharing, electric bike sharing, parking area inspection, car maintenance, train maintenance and more. Jaewook Park, CEO of SOCAR, said in early December at the company's press conference. Park also said SOCAR would replace its fleet of zero-emission vehicles, including electric or hydrogen-powered cars, by 2030 and strengthen the autonomous car industry.

SOCAR will accelerate to reap additional benefits and advance their technology with IPO funding, Park said. The company has already completed two purchases last month - South Korea's online parking platform Modu Company and an electric bike rental platform Selection. SOCAR also invested in RideFlux autonomous driving startups in 2022.

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The 11-year-old company started its 100-car rental car sharing service in Jeju in 2011 and launched its mobile app in 2012. SOCAR acquired VCNC, Korea's mobile messaging app platform, in in 2022 to run Tada's van towing service. . (The startup industry, however, had to suspend its van service in 2022 due to a revised South Korean law restricting riding to only permitted taxis and restricting car services rented from offering drivers, excluding vans with 11 to 15 seats.) Last October, SOCAR sold a 60% stake in the riding arm to Viva Republica, the established fintech company in Seoul behind Toss.

In 2022, SOCAR established a Malaysian-based subsidiary SOCAR Malaysia, which has raised a total of $ 73.2 million to date.

The competition of the mobile platform industry in South Korea has increased as local car hacking companies such as Kakao Mobility and TMAP Mobility are actively expanding the business in the country with the intent of being a premium mobile app. In October, Uber Technologies also entered the race by forming a joint venture company with TMAP Mobility, with Korean telco giant SK Telecom, to offer a riding service in South Korea.

Kakao Mobility reportedly plans to go public in two years while TMAP Mobility aims to list by 2025.

A company spokesperson noted that their car-sharing peers also include Zipcar, Turo, and getaround.

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