Huimin, a Beijing-based online to offline (O2O) community e-commerce platform, has secured RMB1.6 billion (US$224.88 million) in a new funding round led by Chinese state-owned equity investment firm Jinan Industry Development Fund.
The company’s existing shareholders, including Shenzhen-based Fortune Capital, GP Capital, the operator of government-backed private equity fund Shanghai Financial Development Investment Fund, tech-focused boutique investment bank China Renaissance, and Fosun Capital, the private equity arm of Chinese investment company Fosun International, all poured money into the new round, Huimin announced in a statement on Monday.
The investment came after Huimin raised RMB1.3 billion (US$183.10 million) in a series B funding round at a claimed valuation of over US$2 billion in September 2016. Along with the series B round, the company also unveiled its plan to go public on the domestic bourse within three years.
Huimin, founded in May 2013, operates as an O2O e-commerce platform that connects small-scale community shops, community residents and food producers. The company has launched four major products: "Peihuitong," a business to business (B2B) platform for store owners to directly order products from farms and factories, "Huizhanggui," an intelligent business management system for community shops, "HuiGo," which offers one-stop fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) group-buying services, and a convenience store chain "Haijia Bianli."
The company owns nearly 30 logistics centers and about 1,000 distribution vehicles, offering services to nearly 600,000 community convenient stores, supermarkets and enterprises across 23 cities in China, according to the company website.
Proceeds will be used to enhance the efficiency of product distribution, deploy a new-retail business, promote the application of digital technologies, recruit talent, and improve the existing community e-commerce ecology, according to the statement.
Huimin acquired its homegrown O2O counterpart Beequick in February 2017 when a lack of new funding for community e-commerce start-ups was forcing industry players to survive through mergers and acquisitions (M&A). In January 2015, Huimin closed US$100 million in a series A round from a group of investors including Shenzhen Fortune Venture Capital and CITIC Private Equity.