Alibaba, Jeneration Capital lead US$196m series C funding for Chinese food produce platform Nice Tuan

CHINA – Chinese multinational technology company Alibaba, and Hong-Kong based investment company Jeneration Capital have co-led a “Series C3” for Nice Tuan, a Chinese group-buying platform for farm produce and other groceries.

Nice Tuan’s series C funding was also participated in by other investors including CDH Investments, CICC, Cygnus Equity, GGV Capital, INCE Capital, Joy Capital, KunLun Fund, and Qiming Venture Partners.

Beijing-based Nice Tuan connects farmers and other food producers to retailers, foodservice businesses, and end customers.

The company allows buyers to form groups via its WeChat mini-program, enabling them to collectively buy produce in bulk for more competitive prices.

This is the fourth round of funding that Nice Tuan — also known as Shi Hui Tuan — has netted since the start of 2020.

In January the chinese startup banked US$88.3 million from investors including Alibaba and ZhenFund, following that up in June where it raised a US$81.4 million “Series C1” round led by GGV Capital.

A month later, its CDH Investments that took the mantle, leading a  “Series C2” funding which raked in another US$80 million for the startup.

Nice Tuan is just one of a number of similar community e-commerce platforms that have sprung up in China in recent years, as consumer appetites for fresh and traceable farm-grown produce hit new heights.

Another group-buying app, Tongcheng Life, raised US$200 million in Series C funding round that was co-led by livestreaming platform Joyy.

More broadly, Chinese e-grocers have been attracting big-dollar funding from domestic and overseas investors alike.

MissFresh scored US$495 million in July from CICC, Goldman Sachs, Tencent, Tiger Global, and others.

 The Beijing-based startups was China’s highest-funded agrifoodtech startup last year, according to AgFunder research, securing US$700 million in debt financing from local government.

Also netting large funding amounts in 2019 were fellow Tencent investees Yipin Fresh — a ‘new retail’ supermarket that received $298 million in a round led by the tech giant — and tech-enabled convenience store chain Furong Xingsheng, which raised a total of $246 million across two rounds.

In a statement Nice Tuan said it will use the “Series C3” funds to help more small and medium-sized businesses to generate more income from their produce and other offerings, and expand sales channels for local brands and agricultural products.

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