Vancl, a branded apparel e-commerce service, confirmed that it has closed Series G financing of more than $100 million led by Lei Jun, CEO and co-founder of smartphone maker Xiaomi, and followed by Temasek, Ceyuan, IDG Capital Partners, Qiming Ventures and SAIF Partners (source in Chinese).
The company has secured overall $422 million in previous six rounds of financing from IDG, Ceyuan, Qiming Venture Partners, among others.
Chen Nian, founder of the company, said that Vancl will adopt a business model and positioning similar to Xiaomi’s and put more emphasis on mid- and high-tier products in 2014.
Chen Nian,CEO of Vancl,and Lei Jun co-founded Joyo.com in 2000. Joyo was acquired by Amazon in 2004 and would become Amazon China. Chen Nian, as we know, founded Vancl after that. Lei Jun later became an angel investor that would invest in YY, UC Web, Lakala, among others.
That’s why Xiaomi and Vancl are like sister companies. Xiaomi has been using Vancl’s delivery service. It is reported that Vancl will use the new funding to make a turnaround by copying Xiaomi’s business secrets.
Vancl started as an online men’s shirt brand in 2007 and developed rapidly ever since with continuous injections of capital. The company lost its way after crazy expansion into a variety of categories in 2011, from electronics to swabbers, as acknowledged by Chen Nian.
In May last year, the company shifted its focus back to clothing and opened up to cooperate with third-party brands. It also acquired a couple of small clothing brands, such as Crucco which was founded by a former Vancl executive, and span of the express unit Rufengda.
Latter in the same year, the company integrated the three major businesses, namely, V+, Special Sales, and third-party brands. V+ team is currently responsible for the operation of third-party brands.
Vancl reportedly faced capital chain disruptions last October due to the large inventories and excessive business lines. It is reported that the company has slashed its workforces heavily during the period.
image credit: Vancl