Meituan, now one of the largest group-buying services in China, has reportedly raised US$300 million in new funding earlier this year and has poached Shen Li, former head of Baidu’s location-based services, as reported by Tencent’s QQ.com.
Ms. Shen is now senior vice president at Meituan, according to the report. Meituan’s current COO, Gan Jiawei, was vice president at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group before joining Meituan.
Meituan’s major competitors in group-buying are Tencent-backed Dianping and Baidu-backed Nuomi (Nuomi is part of Baidu’d location-based services Ms. Shen Li previously oversaw). In early this year Meituan announced monthly GMV (gross merchandise volume) on its platform had reached US$260 million, estimating the company had 56%-57% of the China market. A report by Eguan, a Chinese research firm on e-commerce, estimates that, as of the first half of this year, Meituan, Dianping and Nuomi had 56%, 21% and 13% in market share, respectively.
Apart from the group-buying app, Meituan also operates a movie ticketing app, a food delivery app and enterprise-facing WiFi router program. The company is aiming to be the largest player in online-to-offline (O2O) in China.
Meituan announced the last round of US$50 million funding, from Alibaba Group, Northern Light Venture Capital and its first round investor Sequoia Capital, in July 2011. Prior to that Sequoia Capital invested US$10 million in it in the second half of 2010, according to reports in Chinese media.