Cross-border E-commerce Site Metao Scoops Funding as Chinese e-Shoppers Look Abroad

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China’s e-commerce industry has been blooming rapidly, but the country’s online shoppers aren’t stopping at the border. More and more shoppers are heading into new territories in pursuit of the best deals. Dubbed as Haitao (“buying overseas”), Chinese oversea online buyers can buy from foreign online retailers and have the goods directly delivered to their Chinese address.

According to a Nielsen survey, there are 18 million Chinese cross-border online shoppers who spent RMB216 billion (US$35.24 billion) in 2013. Cosmetics and skin care products, women’s clothing, perfume, and health and food supplements are among the most popular categories from overseas.

Metao, a cross-border e-commerce site formerly known as CNTaotao, reportedly secured US$30 million of Series B financing led by Vertex Venture with participation of Morningside Ventures, Greenwoods Investment and Series A investor Matrix Partners.

The startup has received US$5 million in Series A financing form Matrix Partners, while seed funding came from Chinese legendary angel investors Cai Wensheng and Wang Dongfeng.

Launched on March 3 this year, Metao is an e-commerce platform principally engaged in cross-border commerce and the special sales of overseas brands. The company claimed nearly 1 million users with monthly sales of over RMB10 million.

Xie Wenbin, founder of the site, said the capital will be used for construction, market expansion, branding, marketing, logistics and the construction of warehouses.

Last year, the Chinese government eased curbs on cross-border settlement by launching a pilot program in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, allowing third-party payment companies to handle this business in cooperation with their bank partners.

image credit: Ebrun

 

Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)