FreshMarket landed RMB 249 million (USD 38.5 million) in Series C financing last Tuesday, exceeding its initial goal of RMB 50 million, according to a report by 36kr.com.
The Suzhou-based e-commerce platform’s business approach, which it refers to as the C2B2F model, gained the support of investment companies such as Addor Capital, Tiantu Capital, Sharelink Capital and Dingfeng Asset.
C2B2F (consumer to business to farm) refers to a process which starts from the consumer making an order and the company receiving it. The next step requires the company to send the order to a farm, and finally ends with the farm dispatching the fresh goods to the consumer – all within a day.
According to Zhai Gang, an investor of Sharelink Capital, FreshMarket’s business has market value and a great potential for growth since there is a lack of e-commerce platforms where consumers can easily purchase fresh produce online.
“Many e-commerce companies in the market provide imported organic products that are pricey, but very few companies focus on the fresh produce that people need on a daily basis,” he told 36kr in an interview.
FreshMarket’s business model allows consumers to purchase fresh produce straight from the farm with minimal effort. Consumers can make an order online in advance and easily pick up their goods from lockers located near their residences.
The company’s business model differs from its competitors’ approaches because e-commerce companies tend to cooperate with other businesses serving end-users, like supermarkets, to provide goods for consumers.
By delivering straight from the farm to the consumer, FreshMarket is able to maintain a high standard for its products while saving on logistics and purchasing costs.
At present, the company has operations in Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou, but will look to expand its business in three other cities in 2016, according to 36kr.
(Image credit: Baidu)