The ride-hailing firm UCAR Technology Inc is to list on China's New Third Board, the national over-the-counter equity market for small and medium-sized enterprises.
By becoming the first listed chauffeured-car service company in the country, the company will be able to raise capital to battle market leaders Didi Kuaidi and Uber Technologies Inc for higher-end passengers.
When reached by China Daily on Thursday, the company didn't say when it will list on the New Third Board, but said it will "proceed with the listing process in accordance with related regulations".
"Unlike Didi Kuaidi and Uber, which use private cars to offer rides for payments, vehicles on UCAR's platform are all from rental companies. So UCAR can better control the quality of its service, but the downside is the heavy cost to maintain such good service," said Zhang Xu, an analyst at Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys International.
Statistics from the consultancy showed that UCAR is the third-largest car service provider in China in the first quarter of this year, with 10.7 percent market share, after Didi's 85.6 percent and Uber's 15.4 percent.
Both Didi and Uber operate on a one-stop service model, which means they offer various transportation options on one platform to attract massive number of customers.
But by targeting those customers who spend at least 60 yuan ($8.90) on a trip, UCAR enjoys unique strength among customers who value services and experience more than price, said Wang Xiaofeng, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc.
"What UCAR targets is practically a niche market. The market will not be as big as Didi's and Uber's, but it is still going to be good business," she said.
Zhang Zheng, a white-collar worker in Beijing, said that whenever she has something important to do, she uses UCAR. "The drivers on other platforms are not professionals."
"They sometimes get lost and take a longer time to pick you up. You don't want this kind of uncertainty when catching a flight or going for a job interview," she said.
Thanks to the high-quality service, statistics from UCAR showed that its daily orders had jumped from 37,600 in the first quarter of 2015 to 260,300 in the first quarter of 2016.
UCAR is still in the red, but, according to its filings to the New Third Board, it is expected to break even in the near future.