Goldbell acquires BlueSG; plans up to $40m investment by 2023

Published on
May 8, 2024
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Goldbell Group (Goldbell) today announced the proposed acquisition of BlueSG, Singapore’s leading player in the electric vehicles car sharing market. The acquisition, which is expected to be completed before August 2021, will accelerate BlueSG’s development through its next phase of growth, furthering Goldbell’s commitment to fulfilling its vision of becoming a leader in the future mobility landscape for smart cities.

Launched in 2017 as part of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) national-level electric vehicle (EV) Car Sharing initiative pilot programme, BlueSG, Singapore’s first electric car sharing service, has in the last three years successfully established its foothold as a recognised market leader with a fleet of more than 650 electric vehicles, 1,700,000 rentals and 100,000 subscriptions sold.

As the acquisition is expected to be completed within the next six months, the day-to-day operations will in the meantime still be managed by the Bolloré Group until Goldbell officially takes over. The existing electric vehicle charging infrastructure of carparks and chargers will continue to provide seamless access and service to BlueSG customers and will be managed separately under the retained ownership of Bolloré. Customers will continue to enjoy the convenience and efficiency of the services as before, and it is business as usual for all the employees of BlueSG.

The ultimate objective of the acquisition is to realise BlueSG’s potential and build a business model and technologies that will be brought to other smart cities across the Asia Pacific region. Goldbell’s post-acquisition plan is to expand its business and technical capabilities with investments of more than S$70 million over the next 5 years. This will include injecting new vehicles into the fleet, the establishment of an R&D centre with a full-fledged BlueSG technology team and the development of new mobility algorithms, analytics and technologies. An example of this is spatial temporal algorithms, one of the key technology levers for car sharing which will improve customer experience and operational efficiencies by way of fleet re-balancing. BlueSG will also serve as Goldbell’s Global Headquarters for car sharing.

“Our investment in BlueSG is a result of a long-term focus on the future mobility space and reflects the Goldbell approach to insight-driven investing. The combination of BlueSG’s strong brand and engaged customer base, with Goldbell’s deep industry intelligence and network, vehicle support capabilities and fleet efficiency protocols bring powerful synergies to the current and future customers of BlueSG. We are committed to working closely together as a team to develop innovative technology solutions that will support Singapore’s car-lite and energy-powered mobility vision,” said Arthur Chua, CEO of the Goldbell Group.

BlueSG’s acquisition is in line with Goldbell’s Twin Engines for Disruptive Growth strategy, which combines its domain knowledge as the leader in the industrial vehicle leasing and distribution market, with venture building and venture investing models to accelerate innovation and create avant-garde businesses of the future.

BlueSG is Goldbell’s fifth Venture Build initiative. This follows SWAT, a mobility company which provides demand-responsive, ride-sharing technology in high capacity vehicles; Goldbell Evolution Network GEN, a private debt digital investment platform that offers accredited investors and family offices an alternative investment opportunity in asset-backed corporate loans; Xiaoxin Machines xSquare, an intelligent warehousing solution that leverages autonomous technology to optimise warehouse operations without changing existing configurations; and ST33R, Singapore’s first fully digital car as a service (CaaS) app designed for digital-age consumers seeking a low commitment alternative to car ownership.

The company has also launched a global accelerator programme Move.SG to incubate promising start ups in piloting and championing the growth of technology solutions in the area of mobility, transport and logistics. The programme, which is supported by Enterprise Singapore under the Startup SG Accelerator initiative, is Singapore’s first mobility themed accelerator.

Achieving BlueSG’s original objective of becoming one of the largest eco-friendly car sharing companies in the world is an important part of Goldbell’s overall strategic road map. “Autonomous, Sharing Economy and Electric are the key pillars necessary for the fulfilment of Goldbell’s Future Mobility vision and our core value of sustainability. The acquisition of BlueSG is obviously mission critical to bringing us closer to our goal,” said Arthur. “We have full support of and belief in the government’s road map of car-lite, electric future, as well as smart polycentric townships urban design. As a 40-year-old locally-founded family business, we intend to keep ourselves relevant for the next 40 and at every era of change.”