China’s Hottest Internet Sector Is Food Delivery

Last week, we reported that is in talks to merge with Baidu’s Waimai. This would create a giant in the space. already has 28 million monthly active users as of May.

Here is Bloomberg with the market context:

The population of people who rang up meals from phones and computers surged 41.6 percent to 295 million over the first six months, the government’s online industry overseers said in a biennial internet snapshot Friday. That’s well in excess of other markets, including the 7.7 percent user growth in digital payments and 23.7 percent rise in ride-hailing, both more mature sectors. […]

This week, Bloomberg reported that sector-leader Meituan Dianping, which is backed by Tencent, is in talks to snag as much as $5 billion in a round of funding that could make it the world’s fourth largest startup. […]

Over 92 percent of the customers used smartphones to place an order, the China Internet Network Information Center or CNNIC said in its report.

Meituan-Dianping is well advanced. Via Crunchbase:

Dianping was founded in Shanghai in April 2003 as the very first website worldwide providing independent consumer reviews on local services. Today Dianping is China’s leading O2O (Online To Offline) platform for urban service. In addition to merchant information and consumer reviews, Dianping also offers group-buying, online restaurant reservation, take-out service, e-coupon promotions, and other online to offline services. With over 200 million accumulated users, Dianping APP has become an indispensable smartphone APP for Chinese consumers, and the most powerful online partner for local businesses.

Dianping has nearly 75 million monthly active users, over 28 million reviews, and more than 6 million local businesses covering approximately 2,300 cities across China.

Reuters on Meituan-Dianping and the imminent round:

China’s largest on-demand services provider, which is akin to a mix of Yelp and Groupon and does food delivery, is in talks with several global institutional investors to raise $3 billion to $5 billion and obtain a valuation of $25 billion to $30 billion, the person said.

About $1 billion of the new funds would come from an additional investment from Tencent, said the person, who declined to be identified as the talks were not public.

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