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Tencent rumored to have invested USD 100M in hot e-commerce site

xiaohongshu

Rumor has it that Xiaohongshu, a cross-border e-commerce platform, wrapped up a new round of financing worth USD 100 million from Chinese tech giant Tencent on Wednesday, pushing its valuation to USD one billion.

Chinese media reported that Genesis Capital, an independent investment banking firm, and Tiantu Capital, a VC focusing on consumer products, also contributed to this round of fundraising, and Xiaohongshu, or “Little Red Book” in English, will use it to expand its business. Details have yet to be released.

AllChinaTech reached out to a spokesperson at Xiaohongshu, who declined to comment.

Screenshot of xiaohongshu.com

Founded in June 2013, Xiaohongshu started as an online community where users can share their shopping experiences and post about the items they have purchased. In December 2014, the company launched its own B2C e-commerce platform. The platform sold overseas products including bags, shoes, clothing, make-up, maternity products and digital products online by working directly with overseas suppliers to ensure quality.

According to the company’s information on LinkedIn, it has 17 million registered users, and most of them are post-85s and post-90s from first- and second-tier cities. In September 2015, its warehouse in Zhengzhou, in Central China, received RMB 700 million (USD 107 million) in sales in just six months.

In October 2013, the company completed its angel round of financing for millions of RMB from ZhenFund. It received millions of dollars in Series A financing from GSR Ventures and ZhenFund prior to June 2014. In June 2015, it closed a round of Series B financing worth tens of millions of dollars from GGV and GSR Ventures.

The popularity of name brand goods from overseas has increased in recent years and accordingly many cross-border e-commerce platforms have emerged, including fashion platform Ymatou.com, baby product e-commerce Mia.com, and NetEase’s Kaola.com. Big players in the field are e-commerce giant JD.com, Alibaba’s Tmall, online cosmetics platform Jumei.com and luxury e-commerce platform Vipshop.

(Top photo from http://www.mmyuer.com)

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