Car-sharing company Delimobil seeks massive capital injection before potential IPO

Delimobil, a leading car-sharing company in Russia, is seeking to raise at least $60 million, according to Russian business daily Kommersant. The company, of which 77% is owned by Luxembourg-based holding Mikro Kapital Group, has hired Rothschild & Co to help them secure the deal.

According to Kommersant’s unnamed sources, Delimobil intends to claim a $300 million valuation – which is obviously overpriced according to market experts interviewed by the newspaper. Delimobil confirmed plans to raise funds but decline to disclose any numbers.

In a separate exchange with the news agency Interfax, Mikro Kapital Group’s president Vincenzo Trani said that Delimobil had plans to go public on the Moscow exchange by the end of 2020.

Mikro Kapital Group also told the media about plans to raise some €250 million until late 2020 for all its carsharing portfolio companies.

Delimobil generated 1.55 billion rubles in turnover last year (nearly $25 million at the average exchange rate in 2018), according to company registry information cited by Kommersant. In 2019, the company expects to generate some $70 million in turnover and reach break-even point. It currently operates more than 12,500 cars across Russia, according to Trani.

Mikro Kapital Group owns another car-sharing company, Anytime, which it acquired in 2018. This acquisition allowed Mikro Kapital Group to increase its market share to 29%, behind market leader Yandex.Drive (38%) but ahead of BelkaCar (22%) and YouDrive (6%), according to data cited by Kommersant. Group, a major player in the ride-hailing business, eyed Anytime in 2018 but finally acquired a stake in YouDrive.

Microfinance is the first business focus of Mikro Kapital Group, which was founded in 2008. The group operates mainly in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union as well as Latin America. Its founding team is essentially Italian, but also includes a few businessmen from the former Soviet Union. Among them is Mukhit Seidakhmetov, a prominent tech executive and entrepreneur from Kazakhstan.

Car-sharing (also spelt ‘carsharing’) consists in renting cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. The owner of the cars may be an operator, as is the case with Delimobil, or private individuals renting their own vehicle. Carsharing should not be confused with ride-hailing (e.g. Uber) or carpooling (e.g. BlaBlaCar).