Given a role as caregiver of the family, women usually play an especially prominent role in buying things that provide sustenance for home and family. That means women have a great deal of influence in the economy as consumers, or a lot of spending power.
Female customers tend view e-commerce or online shopping as a fashionable life style and entertainment. According to a report on Chinese e-commerce market, female online shoppers have overshadowed their male counterparts in terms of spending amount and online shopping frequency, despite that male online shoppers outnumbered female ones. More importantly, women love to share with like-minded people on various aspects of their lives, like relationships, families, babies, among others.
As an active vertical community with high consumption power, women-focused or female community services are becoming the darlings of investors, e-commerce services and advertisers. Mogujie, Lmbang, Dayima and Meet You, four leading Chinese women-focused startups, have received a combined US$285 million of funding from investors in June alone.
Let’s take a look at some interesting companies in this sector (read Part II).
Babytree is a leading Chinese digital resources and community for maternal and childcare services. The company is co-founded by former Google China exec Wang Huainan and former cofounder of EachNet Shao Yibo in 2007. It claimed more than 40 million registered users as of present. The firm has received 150 million yuan ($24.79 million) of strategic investment from Chinese K-12 after-school tutoring service TAL Education (NYSE:XRS) at the beginning of this year.
Meilishuo is a leading Chinese social network focused on women fashion and lifestyle, helping women to find ideal closing and skin care products which are best suited to them. Meilishuo started the business as a Pinterest-style pinboard site which drives traffic to Taobao, China’s largest e-commerce site. Since last year, Meilishuo is transforming into a C2C e-commerce site with more items sold by internal sellers and more inward promotion campaigns. The company stops using Alipay payment since March this year, but seeks more cooperation with WeChat platform. The company now claimed more than 55 million registered users with its app downloads surpassed 75 million.
Mogujie, another well-known domestic fashion guide website, is the biggest rival of Meilishuo in China. Similar to Meilishuo, Mogujie is transforming into an independent marketplace rather than a guiding site that redirects users to Taobao. Taobao started to place restrictions on similar shopping guide services, considering their threats to Taobao’s self-hold advertising business. Mogujie has raised US$200 million in Series D funding from a group of investors at a valuation of US$1 billion this June. The site claimed 80 million users, with 35 million being monthly active on mobile.
4. Meet You
Started as a menstruation period tracing app, Meet You gradually shifted its focus to constructing a female community, where users can discuss and share tips on various topics, like parenting, fashion, keeping fit, relationships, etc. Launched in April 2013, the app now claimed more than 50 million registered users with over 3.5 million active users. The company has raised three funding rounds in one year, including a benchmark US$35 million Series C round received this June.
Dayima is a period tracking and female health app similar to Meet You. Dayima predicts period cycles based on past patterns, offering health tips on avoiding cramps and pre-menstrual syndromes, and links to online forum where users can exchange their experiences on parenting, beauty, etc. Launched in January 2012, Dayima claims it has had 45 million registered users and 3.2 million daily active users. It just announced US$30 million in Series C funding this June.
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