SoCar is first Korean mobility start-up valued over 1 trillion won
Car-sharing app SoCar became the first mobility start-up in Korea to be valued above 1 trillion won ($873 billion), the company said Friday.
In its latest round of investment, SoCar raised 60 billion won from SG Private Equity and Songhyun Investment, both headquartered in Seoul. The funds would be used to incorporate technology like big data analysis and artificial intelligence into mobility services, the start-up said.
Established in 2011, SoCar operates the largest car-sharing platform in Korea.
The company, however, went through a difficult year in 2019 while operating the van-hailing service Tada. After launching in October 2018, Tada garnered success among domestic users but eventually shut down in April this year due to fierce opposition from the local taxi industry and regulations. According to SoCar, overcoming that crisis benefited its recent valuation.
“Investors approved of SoCar’s achievement in overcoming the drastic fall in transportation demand due to Covid-19 and the crisis of shutting down a major business,” the company said in Friday statement.
Amid those difficult times, SoCar aggressively released new products and services including a subscription model, long-term rental programs and business-to-business rentals. The company eventually obtained government permits to operate a taxi business last month.
“The latest investment is proof of the potential of SoCar’s car-sharing business, anticipation in new mobility services and our capacity to realize growth despite the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Park Jae-uk, CEO of SoCar. “We will continue our drive to obtain technology, improve services and hire new talent.”
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [firstname.lastname@example.org]