Why e-commerce Mia.com could be valued at USD one billion

Wendy Tang

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China’s leading e-commerce company for childrens products, Mia.com, has raised USD 150 million in its latest round of funding.

Leading this investment is Chinese search engine giant, Baidu, along with Sequoia Capital and HCapital, and it is reported that Mia.com will be valued at USD one billion after closing this round of funding.

Sun Wei, CFO of Mia.com, told Huxiu.com that the company accepted investment from Baidu because Baidu will be able to leverage its web traffic resources in service of Mia.com. Baidu and Mia.com have found that users not only use search engines to find products, but they also need solutions for their queries.

Sun said Baidu’s future plan is to work strategically with e-commerce companies for mutual benefit and intends to share income with them.

Mia.com, formerly miyabaobei.com, was originally a shop on Taobao but left Taobao to establish its own domain in February 2014. Mia.com completed two rounds of fundraising in  2014 totalling USD 80 million.

China’s e-commerce king, Alibaba, is leading the overseas e-commerce business, followed by market leader JD.com, and ymatou.com – a Taobao-like platform connecting individual buyers located overseas with Chinese domestic users.

There are estimated to be more than 200 million children under 12 years old in China. Chinese parents who can afford to buy foreign products, prefer to buy baby products such as baby formula abroad, because of the 2008 Chinese tainted milk scandal, which caused widespread concern for the safety of dairy products.  

Mia.com has adjusted its strategy with each passing round of funding. Its current strategy is to expand key elements including baby formula, paper diaper in its supply chain to home products, and accessories, Sun said. The website aims to become a top e-commerce destination for middle-class consumers.

Sun said the company plans to expand into children’s services, in addition to selling baby products by the end of the year or the first quarter of 2016. Those services will include childrens playgrounds, plays for children and family tours.

Addressing the company’s USD one billion valuation, Sun said there are three reasons why the company is deserving of such a high appraisal.

The first reason is that Mia.com chooses its partners and products carefully. Not only do partners need to pay a deposit and show proof of operating permits, Mia.com also checks every single product that goes through Mia.com’s platform.

Secondly, Sun explained, though the company has many warehouses within China, it does not overstock its products. Sun thinks storage costs are too high and Mia.com relies on third parties to store products instead. The company’s real focus is overseas e-commerce.

Lastly, Mia.com offers flash sales and deals-of-the day in different categories. They hope to attract customers to shop everyday. Additionally, they have added a social component on the site, which allows customers to review products.

(Photo from Mia.com’s Weibo Account)

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