Legend Holdings Ltd. has made a RMB400 million (US$61 million) strategic investment in Liquor Easy, an O2O (online-to-offline) start-up providing 20-minute express delivery of liquor products to consumers, according to an announcement (in Chinese).
The move signals Legend Holdings’ strategic priority to invest in emerging and innovative start-ups that focus on the upgrade of Chinese consumer demand.
"Legend Holdings has been making strategic investments in…sectors such as agriculture and food that cater to increasingly discerning Chinese consumers," says Chen Shaopeng, senior vice-president at Legend Holdings. "Since 2011, we have made investments in high-quality fruits, Internet-based agriculture and now liquor."
Founded in 2012, Liquor Easy, or Jiubianli in Chinese, lets consumers make orders online or via phone calls, with the promise of a 20-minute delivery. It also operates traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
The company says it plans to expand its businesses to more cities in China from its current five cities base, which includes Beijing and Zhengzhou in Henan province, where it is headquartered.
Liquor Easy received tens of millions RMB series A funding from Everbright Securities Co., Ltd. in 2015. It currently operates 170 stores and has 550,000 registered users, says the announcement.
In 2015, Legend Holdings has invested in Beijing-based mobile social marketing provider Social Touch, Internet P2P (peer to peer) lending platform Eloan.com, and a mobile app-based chauffeured car service firm Ucar Group.