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Investment, Venture Capital

Source Code Joins $230M Round In Chinese Fresh Fruit Chain Pagoda To Boost Online Sales

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One of Pagoda's stores.

Shenzhen-based fresh fruit chain retailer Pagoda has completed a RMB1.5 billion (US$230 million) series B round as investors continue to support China’s fresh produce e-commerce industry.

A number of investment firms participated in the round, according to Chinese media reports, including Co-Stone Capital, Source Code Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group Co., Ltd., Zhongzhi Capital, Zhongjin Zhide Equity Investment Management and Yuexiu Industrial Fund.

It is unclear how Pagoda is valued in the round. The company did not respond immediately to an inquiry from China Money Network to confirm the information.

Founded in 2001, Pagoda established its first chain store specializing in fresh fruit in 2012. Currently, the company has 2,600 stores in over 40 cities in China. Last year, the company reported sales of RMB8.4 billion (US$1.3 billion), up from RMB6 billion (US$920 million) in 2016.

In 2016, Pagoda shifted its business strategy from a traditional fruit retailing to become a fresh fruit e-commerce player by merging with 1mxian.com, a fresh produce online marketplace. The company now offers delivery services for customers residing less than three kilometer from its stores.

China’s fresh produce e-commerce industry has been developing rapidly in the past two years. In 2017, the total transaction value of the market reached RMB139 billion (US$21 billion), up 59.7% year-on-year, according to a report from iResearch.

A number of fresh produce e-commerce platforms have raised significant funding. Last September, Tencent Holdings Ltd-backed MissFresh raised a US$230 million series C+ round from U.S. investment firm Tiger Global Management LLC and China’s Genesis Capital. In the same month, FreshMarket raised a RMB290 million (US$44 million) new funding round led by Tiantu Capital.

One month prior, another player in the fresh food marketplace Yiguo.com received US$300 million from Tmall, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s business-to-customer e-commerce platform.

Pagoda previously completed a RMB400 million (US$63 million) series A round of financing led by Tiantu with participation from GF Xinde Investment Management and other unnamed investors. It plans to use the latest proceeds to develop its fresh fruit supply chain, build up an ecosystem, and enhance its industrial Internet.

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