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Alibaba's Koubei Invests In Restaurant Booking App Maker

Diners sometimes wait over an hour at popular restaurants in China
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Chinese Internet giant Alibaba's local-services platform, Koubei, has teamed up with Chinese RMB fund Zhongshi Capital to invest in Meiweibuyongdeng, a mobile app that helps restaurants better manage their bookings and customer wait times.

The financial details of the investment were not disclosed, according to an announcement. The company said the series C+ round values the start-up at RMB3 billion (US$433 million).

Founded in 2013, Meiweibuyongdeng provides solutions to restaurants allowing customers to automatically take a waiting number and to be away during their wait. Many restaurants in China have long queues during peak hours. Meiweibuyongdeng, which operates via mwee.cn and mobile apps, offers restaurants solutions for managing their customer flow.

The company says to date it has served 60,000 popular restaurants in 200 cities. It has 10 million mobile app users and 20 million followers on its Wechat account, where the company also offers similar services.

The transaction follows a RMB500 million (US$72 million) strategic investment from Meituan Dianping and Baidu Inc. in October 2015. The company previously raised US$20 million from Tiantu Capital, and several million U.S. dollars led by Matrix Partners China.

Meiweibuyongdeng says it plans to use the latest proceeds on product promotion, marketing and new product development.






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