China's Meituan-Dianping raises $4 billion, valuing firm at $30 billion

Meituan-Dianping on Thursday said it has raised $4 billion in a funding round that values China's largest on-demand services provider at $30 billion, as part of a strategy to compete with the country's leading e-commerce firms in offline retail.




Meituan-Dianping on Thursday said it has raised $4 billion in a funding round that values China's largest on-demand services provider at $30 billion, as part of a strategy to compete with the country's leading e-commerce firms in offline retail.

Meituan-Dianping in a statement said the round was led by existing investor Tencent Holdings Ltd, with participants including Sequoia Capital Ltd, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd and Tiger Global Management LLC.

Reuters reported in August that Meituan-Dianping was considering raising up to $5 billion.

Earlier this year, Meituan-Dianping announced plans to invest in offline services and artificial intelligence technology (AI), amid a push by China's top tech firms into brick-and-mortar retail.

Often compared to services from Yelp Inc and Groupon Inc , Meituan-Dianping is an online platform for a range of services including movie ticketing, food delivery, restaurant bookings, beauty services, travel and luxury goods.

Its biggest rivals include e-commerce pair Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and JD.com Inc , both of which have championed a shift into offline stores in recent years, spurred by developments in cloud computing and big data technology.

Meituan-Dianping's plans include opening a chain of offline stores, beginning in Beijing earlier this year, as well as developing technology in logistics and AI.

In July, Meituan-Dianping's vice-president of strategy told Reuters the firm was not considering an initial public offering until it had established infrastructure for services including offline retail, and had roughly $3 billion in cash reserves remaining from a previous funding round.

Meituan-Dianping said it has 280 million users and serves as a platform for roughly 5 million businesses.

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