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…

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Ecommerce company Alibaba acquires controlling stake in Sun Art Retail Group

CHINA – Alibaba, an ecommerce giant, has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Chinese largest hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group from French retailer Auchan, for approximately US$3.6 billion. This acquisition comes as Alibaba seeks to strengthen its online grocery delivery capabilities in the wake of Covid-19, as well as its offline retail offering, in an effort to stave off competition in the high-growth market from ecommerce rivals such as JD.com, Meituan and Pinduoduo. Alibaba previously acquired a 36% stake in Sun Art in 2017 but has now agreed…

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Cross-border electronic auction platform proves to be profitable in Rwanda

RWANDA – Following a successful auction of Rwandan coffee on China’s e-commerce platform, organized by the Alibaba group, Rwanda is set to as well auction Chilli on the electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP). Rwanda and the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2018 signed an agreement that opened doors for small businesses in Africa to take part in the cross-border electronic trade by availing their products to the Chinese market through Tmall, a subsidiary online platform of Alibaba. Last week, about 1.5 tonnes of roasted Rwandan coffee beans from Gorilla Coffee…

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Indian online grocer BigBasket merges two core arms to speed up delivery

INDIA – BigBasket, an Alibaba-backed online grocer in India has merged two core business, the on-demand 90-minute delivery and planned next-day orders as it seeks increase efficiencies in its business. The Bengaluru-based grocery said that the reorganization will help in supplying a larger selection of items to its customers in less than 4 hours. The on-demand business offered a smaller range of products, while customers got to choose from a larger range in the case of next-day delivery. According to an update by ET Retail, with the transition, the company…

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Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba set for a new era as Jack Ma departs

CHINA – The Chinese eCommerce giant, Alibaba Group is set to embrace a new chapter in the company’s management following the departure of its high profile founder, Jack Ma. Jack Ma, who is leaving the company today, will be succeeded by his heir Danieel Zhang. Ma has been central to the growth of the company and leaves at a time when Alibaba clocks 20 years. The renowned Chinese entrepreneur will continue serving on Alibaba’s board until its annual general shareholders’ meeting next year. Ma will also remain a lifetime partner…

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BigBasket to invest US$100m in strengthening supply chain in expansion strategy

INDIA – BigBasket, India’s leading grocery retailer, is set to invest US$100 million (Rs 698 crore) in strengthening its supply chain by setting up vending machines and smaller distribution centres across various cities it operates in.    This follows the US$150 million financial boost that the Alibaba-backed company recently raised, which was led by Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, CDC Group and Alibaba Group. The online grocery platform which operates in 25 cities across India, plans to increase its efficiencies through the investment. The proceeds of the fundraising will also…

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JBS signs US$1.5b meat supply deal with Alibaba’s Win-Chain

USA – The American meat processor, JBS has secured a three-year supply deal with Alibaba’s data-driven global sourcing platform for perishable food, Win-Chain to increase its meat export to the Chinese market. The deal which include beef, poultry and pork products will see JBS start supplying Win-Chain within the next 30 days. As part of the partnership, Win-Chain will provide channel sales, cold chain distribution, commodity brand co-establishment plans and big data support, ensuring that JBS products can enter the Chinese market in an efficient manner. China is already one…

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Kroger partners with Alibaba to sell groceries online across China

CHINA – Kroger, an American retailing company, has made plans to sell products on Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba, the latest decision in a series of initiatives to bolster its digital business. According to CNBC, Kroger will open an online storefront on Alibaba’s platform for international brands, Tmall Global, as its focus will include dietary supplements and private label products. There has been a growing interest in China for overseas nutrient products, fueled by the country’s increased focus on health and wellness and amid limited confidence in its own safety standards.…

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Starbucks to form a strategic retail partnership with Alibaba

CHINA – Starbucks Coffee Company, a multinational coffee company, and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., a Chinese multinational e-commerce company, have announced a strategic “New Retail” partnership to expand market service. According to Starbucks, the partnership will enable a seamless Starbucks Experience and transform the coffee industry in China. Starbucks announced plans to pilot delivery services beginning September 2018, establish “Starbucks Delivery Kitchens” for delivery order fulfillment and integrate multiple platforms to co-create an unprecedented virtual Starbucks store – an unparalleled and even more personalized online Starbucks Experience for Chinese customers.…

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Alibaba leads $300 million funding for Indian online grocer Bigbasket

INDIA – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd led a $300 million investment into India’s biggest online grocer Bigbasket, signalling that the region’s segment is firing up. Hari Menon, Bigbasket’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said the investment values the company at $950 million—just $50 million under the $1 billion valuation that would have earned it tech unicorn status. “We wanted a strategic investor and saw Alibaba as the best fit,” Menon said in an interview. He said existing investors Abraaj Group and Bessemer Venture Partners participated in the latest round. India’s…

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