Joyang Gufen, a kitchen appliances manufacturer, announced on Thursday it has invested USD 30 million in fresh food e-commerce venture Benlai Holdings, Tencent Tech reports.
Joyang Gufen said its investment is part of a strategic partnership with Benlai Holdings, an online retailer of fresh food, to develop online and offline operations fostering a modern cooking culture.
Joyang Hong Kong took 3.82% of preferred shares in Benlai Holdings – a company now valued at USD 785 million – in a Series C round. Benlai.com belongs to Benlai Holdings.
It is reported that besides Joyang Gufen investing in Benlai Holdings, several other shareholders are also investing, which will bring the total amount of investment to over USD 100 million.
Before the Series C fundraising, Benlai.com’s largest shareholder was Dadi Co. Ltd., which holds about 41.08% of the company. The second largest shareholder in Benlai is ‘ESOP and Founder Discretionary Shares’, which hold 17.07% shares, followed by J&Z Co. Ltd. with 10.92%.
Benlai Holdings is a B2C company founded in July 2012 which sells both imported and domestic fruit, seafood and meat.
Benlai.com has established storage bases in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, along with logistics setups for frozen food in 22 medium to large cities.
Many fresh food e-commerce companies are engaged in neck-to-neck competition in China. Fresh food e-commerce website fruitday.com raised USD 70 million in a Series C funding from JD.com in May. O2O community e-commerce company Bee Quick also raised USD 70 million in funding in a Series C financing. A company operating in a similar category in the U.S. is Instacart which provides an online grocery delivery service.