SOCAR, a South Korean car-sharing startup, has filed for an initial public offering, announced on Wednesday by Korea Exchange. A SOCAR spokesperson said the details – the number of shares that will go public and the price range – have yet to be determined.
SOCAR’s value reached about $834 billion (1 trillion won) after raising $50.7 million (60 billion won) in October 2020. The company has raised a total of about $275 million since its inception in 2011, a company spokesperson confirmed. According to media reports, SOCAR’s estimated valuation will be $2.5 billion (3 trillion won) after listing in the first half of this year.
Its previous 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 a super transportation app this year that will provide all-in-one mobility services such as car sharing, electric bike sharing, parking search, car recall, train booking and more, Jawok Park, CEO of SOCAR, in early December during Company press conference. Park also said SOCAR will replace a fleet of its zero-emissions vehicles, including electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, by 2030 and boost its self-driving car business.
Park said SOCAR will accelerate additional acquisitions and develop its technology with the proceeds from the IPO. The company has already completed two acquisitions last month – an online parking platform in South Korea Modu company Electric bike rental platform an item. SOCAR also invested in self-driving company RideFlux in 2018.
The 11-year-old company started the car-sharing service with 100 rental cars in Jeju in 2011 and launched its mobile app in 2012. VCNC, a Korean mobile messaging app platform, was acquired by SOCAR in 2018 to operate the mobile car transportation service. Tada. (However, the startup was forced to stop its car-trucking service in 2020 due to a revised South Korean law that restricts only licensed taxis and limits the provision of car rental services to drivers, except for trucks with 11 to 15 seats.) in October (October) SOCAR sold a 60% stake in the car reservation service arm of Viva Republica, the Seoul-based fintech company responsible for Toss.
In 2018, SOCAR established a Malaysian-based subsidiary, SOCAR Malaysia, which has raised a total of $73.2 million to date.
Competition in the mobility platform industry in South Korea has intensified as local car ordering companies such as Kakao Mobility and TMAP Mobility actively expand their businesses in the country with ambitions to become the ultimate mobility app. In October, Uber Technologies also joined the race by forming a joint venture with TMAP Mobility, owned by Korean telecom giant SK Telecom, to offer ride-hailing service in South Korea.
Kakao Mobility is said to be planning an IPO within two years while TMAP Mobility aims to list by 2025.
The company spokesperson noted that its car-sharing peers also include Zipcar, Turo, and getaround.