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The five-year-old e-commerce company became a unicorn last September after raising $200 million in a round led by Tencent Holdings and Meituan-Dianping that valued the company at $1.1 billion, according to Kr-asia.com. Yijiupi also secured $100 million in March from Warburg Pincus. The financing brings the company’s total raised over its lifetime to nearly $600 million. Other backers include Lighthouse Capital Partners and Eastern Bell Capital.
The digital retailer sells liquor and wine to offline retailers and convenience stores. But it’s diversifying as of late.
According to EqualOcean.com, Yijiupi has launched “a new website that has two separate channels-’alcohol, beverage and packaged food’ and ‘grocery and snacks.’ ”
As of last September, according to Kr.-asia.com, the startup was operating in 83 Chinese cities. At that time, the publication reported that Yijiupi was aiming to hit a GMV (gross merchandise volume) of RMB 20 billion (or about US$ 2.83 billion) by the end of last year, up “from its more than RMB 12 billion (US$ 1.7 billion) figure in 2017.”
Overall, online retail sales in China have continued to exceed, and grow faster than, those in the United States, according to a recent report referencing Chinese government data. Specifically, online retail sales in China totaled about $1.33 trillion in 2018, up nearly 24 percent from 2017, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, a government agency.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias