(Yicai Global) Dec. 4 -- Beijing-based Sinoiov Information Technology, which develops Internet of Vehicles platforms, has finished its Series-A funding led by Hangzhou-based Ant Financial Services, a unit of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.
This is the first round of external financing the company has sought since its entry into the field of Big Data and artificial intelligence, as these relate to road freight transport, when it formed in 2004.
Sinoiov mainly develops and operates road freight smart service platforms, online technology news outlet 36kr reported today. The proceeds from this round will go to steadily develop scenarios where financial services and data apply to cartage and to grow logistics finance jointly with Ant Financial and other partners, said Xia Shudong, Sinoiov's board chairman.
Acting under the offices of the country's transport ministry, in 2012 the company developed China's first national regulatory platform for heavy trucks, which has since extended to 31 provinces and cities nationwide. Over 5.2 million vehicles had accessed this network by the end of March, including over 95 percent of China's big rigs.
Visions of the future of logistics finance beckoned Ant Financial into investment in Sinoiov, 36kr reported. China has become the world's biggest road transport market, with a business volume of over CNY5 trillion (USD718.5 billion), statistics show. The system of financial services for it is still immature and incomplete, however, and thus with much scope to develop.
To cite the insurance sector as an example, the dynamic data of vehicles Sinoiov owns can help insurers accurately price premiums and reduce claim settlement costs, and can also apply in electronic toll collection, fuel payment with cards specially designed for that purpose and in other scenarios.
Editor: Ben Armour