Chinese Online Grocery Unicorn MissFresh Raises US$495M Series F

The funding brings Ecommerce startup MissFresh’s total funding to US$1.9 billion to date

China-based grocery Ecommerce platform Beijing Missfresh ECommerce Co. (MissFresh) has raised funds worth US$495 million in its Series F round from a consortium of investors, according to a statement released on July 23.

MissFresh had a reported $3 billion pre-money evaluation prior to this round. With the latest funding, the company will now be valued at almost $3.5 billion.

The funding round is one of the largest to have taken place in the Chinese online grocery sector so far, the statement issued by China Renaissance Holdings noted. China Renaissance acted as the exclusive financial advisor for the massive deal.

With this round, MissFresh has raised at least $1.9 billion in funding since its founding, across nine rounds, notwithstanding undisclosed amounts for three of these rounds.

Private equity fund China International Capital Corporation (CICC) led the Series F, with participation from a host of institutional backers including one of its earliest investors Tencent Holdings.

Hong Kong-based ICBC International, Abu Dhabi Capital Group, Government Industry Fund of Changshu in Suzhou Province, and U.S.-based Tiger Global and Goldman Sachs Asset Management also participated.

Headquartered in Beijing, MissFresh was founded in 2014, and acquired unicorn status by 2017.

The startup had last raised a Series E round in 2018 for $450 million. Tiger Global, Tencent, Goldman Sachs, and China Renaissance had participated in the 2018 round, along with other investors.

MissFresh delivers 3000 fresh food products across 16 cities in China, the statement noted. The company operates 1500 front-end warehouses and a smart supply chain, which the statement said allows for order fulfillment within 30 minutes.

Managing Director at China Renaissance, Liang Zhou noted in the statement that “China’s online fresh food Ecommerce industry has quickly grown into a trillion market,” leading to major growth and innovation opportunities.

“As the industry begins to consolidate, MissFresh – with its nationwide supply chain and strong digital capabilities – is well-positioned to benefit from this trend.,” he added. “The company is redefining the industry with a ‘good and fast’ online shopping experience that provides customers with a wide variety of fresh food options.”

China’s online grocery sector is intensely competitive and also highly populated, especially with giants such as Alibaba and Meituan. With 150 Chinese online grocery delivery startups having failed in recent years, the race to profitability and market domination is arduous for companies in the sector.

The sector has received a boost amidst the Covid-19 crisis. According to a report by India Retailing, analytics company GlobalData has found that 56% of consumers in China are shopping for groceries online more frequently.

“With a population of 1.4 billion (and a grocery market 13 times the size of the UK), the potential value growth in the Chinese online grocery market is phenomenal,” a retail analyst at GlobalData is said in the report.

Header image by ijeab on Freepik

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