Chinese E-Commerce Unicorn Jollychic Gets $65M Serving MENA Consumers


Jollychic, a Chinese e-commerce platform mainly serving Middle East consumers, announced on Monday the completion of a series C+ round of financing worth US$65 million from Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing firm Group 42.

Jollychic, launched in 2012 and started to focus on the Middle East market in 2014, claimed to be the largest e-commerce platform in Middle East in terms of the installed capacity, and the top market player in the seven Arab states which border the Persian Gulf, according to the company data obtained by Chinese online publication 36Kr.

Jollychic did not immediately respond to China Money Network seeking comments.

The new investment came after Jollychic reached the unicorn valuation of over US$1 billion upon the completion of a series C funding round worth hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in May 2018. The series C round was led by Sequoia Capital’s growth fund with participation from the firm’s existing investor Legend Capital.

The unicorn works with both global and local brands to provide millions of products including apparel, electronics, home goods, shoes and bags, and groceries. Jollychic mainly operates three brands: comprehensive e-commerce platform "Jollychic," fashion-focused one-stop marketplace "Dealy," and entry lux e-commerce brand "MarkaVIP." The firm has set up branch offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.

"The new investment will significantly promote Jollychic’s strategic moves in keeping expanding commodity offerings, optimizing the logistics system, developing its third-party payment platform and e-wallet," said Jollychic founder and CEO Li Haiyan cited by 36Kr.

The investment from Group 42 is "an important milestone" to help Jollychic consolidate its presence in the Middle East market and finance the firm in building "an e-commerce network" and "a cashless society" in the region, said Li.

Jollychic is also increasing investment to improve its online payment platform "JollyPay." The platform was among the first batch of enterprises to receive a license to operate in the UAE in July 2019, which would help Jollypay further integrate into the country’s financial system.

The company raised RMB200 million (US$31.5 million) in a series B round from Legend Capital, textile manufacturer and processor Zhejiang Furun, and Stage Group, a Chinese firm focusing on leather, woven garments, knitwear import and export businesses, in January 2016.

Update:

Fortune Capital, a Chinese venture capital firm that backed Jollychic in its series B round, confirmed the US$65 million series C+ funding round in a statement released on its WeChat official account on late Monday.

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