Veggie-Selling App Meicai is Said to Raise New Capital

Bloomberg writer Lulu Yilun Chen reported yesterday that, “Meicai, a Chinese startup that helps farmers sell vegetables to restaurants, raised at least $600 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management and Hillhouse Capital, people familiar with the matter said.

The money will be used to expand as the startup competes for a bigger share of China’s fragmented food sourcing market, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. According to one person familiar with the matter, the company raised about $800 million at a valuation of about $7 billion. Meicai was said to be valued at about $2.8 billion pre-investment in its previous funding round in January.

“Meicai, which means ‘beautiful vegetable,’ was founded in 2014 by Liu Chuanjun, a rocket scientist who set a goal of sourcing produce for about 10 million small- and medium-sized restaurants in China. Using a smartphone app, customers can order specialties such as bok choy and Sichuan peppercorns directly from farms, disrupting traditional wholesaling by cutting out middlemen. As of the end of last year, Meicai served close to a 100 cities revenue had surpassed 10 billion yuan.”

The Bloomberg article noted that, “The funding round is among the largest for a Chinese startup this year. Full Truck Alliance, the country’s biggest app for Uber-like long-haul services, raised $1.9 billion in April while Pinduoduo Inc., the Chinese social e-commerce company, raised more than $1 billion in the same month before holding its initial public offering.”

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