Fresh food e-commerce platform yiguo.com closed Series C financing yesterday. The amount of funding the platform received is not yet clear, but it’s rumored to be the largest investment in a fresh food e-commerce company to date.
The round of financing was led by China’s -commerce giant Alibaba and the world famous investment agency Kohlberg Kravis Roberets & Co. L.P.
The funds will be used to further scale up their fresh food e-commerce business and provide quality services to more families.
Founded in 2005, Shanghai-based yiguo.com received tens of millions of dollars in strategic investment from Alibaba in 2013, and closed another round of fundraising jointly backed by Alibaba Group and Yunfeng Capital in 2014. The founder of Yunfeng Capital is Jack Ma.
Yiguo.com has 10 years’ experience in the fresh food industry with more than 3,200 stock keeping units, covering fresh fruits, vegetables, aquatic products, grain, oil, etc. It gets its stock directly from 100 production areas in 23 countries and stores it in its own warehouses. Through a third-party logistics system, yiguo.com can send the fresh food to 100 major cities in China.
“Yiguo has experienced three important periods. The first is in 2008 our team came to Beijing from Shanghai without knowing anything about the market, but we gradually built a big company and adopted a series of strategies to march into Beijing’s market; the second is we expanded our business from fruits to more areas including vegetables, eggs, meat and aquatic products in 2009; the third is in 2013 we built a strategic partnership with Alibaba in the fresh food e-commerce scene,” Yiguo’s CEO Jin Guanglei said.
Yiguo.com’s rival urfresh.com announced today that it had closed two rounds of financing in half a year. It secured USD 10 million in Series A financing from Capital Today, which is committed to providing growth capital to small and medium-sized Chinese companies, and USD 30 million in Series B financing from Capital Today and Fengshang Capital.
Urfresh.cn was founded last July by Zhu Pengcheng and Wang Haihui, respectively former chief commodities officer and senior vice president of operations at yhd.com, one of China’s top ten e-commerce portals and a recent acquisition of Walmart last September.
With a continued improvement of living standards, more Chinese families are seeking balance in dietary patterns with healthy fresh foods. This demand is helping the fresh food e-commerce industry flourish in China. According to a report released by Chinese market research company Analysys, the transaction volume for China’s fresh food e-commerce industry reached RMB 54.2 billion (USD 8.3 billion) in 2015, an increase of 87% over the previous year. The report also predicts the market will continue to have strong growth momentum, reaching RMB 90 billion in 2016.
(Top photo from Baidu.com)