Everything can be rented nowadays. Power bank rental firm Xiaodian (小电科技) announced yesterday a series A worth roughly RMB 100 million, led by Tencent and Hangzhou Vision Capital Management. Other investors include CDH Investments, GSR Ventures, DT Capital Partners and In Capital.
Founded last December by former Alibaba employee Tang Yongbo, Beijing Yidianyuan Network Technology (北京伊电园网络科技有限公司), the company behind Xiaodian, developed this in-house smart wireless charging device, according to public data from its official website.
The Xiaodian power bank can be placed in public places including restaurants, billiards rooms, KTVs and subways. With the Xiaodian app installed on their phone, or by scanning a QR code with WeChat, users can rent the power bank and charge their smart devices for RMB 1 per charge, with no deposit required.
Currently, Xiaodian has partnered with more than 1,000 restaurants in Beijing and plans to expand its presence into more Chinese cities with the newly-secured funding.
“Sharing-economy” appears to be the great buzz word of the past two years in China, covering the rental of everything from cars, bikes, electric vehicles, to apartments and more. According to a report at the 2016 Summer Davos Forum, China’s sharing economy is estimated to top US$ 300 billion and may grow by 40% every year in the next five years.
The booming sector has also drawn the interest of internet giants such as Tencent, which has invested heavily in bike-rental startup Mobike in the startup’s series C and series D financing, apart from its funding in car-hailing giant Didi.