Rumors began swirling last month that Meituan, the leading group-buying service in China, had raised US$700 million in new funding. Wang Xing, Meituan founder and CEO, confirmed this yesterday, saying that the round, led by Sequoia Capital China, valued the company at US$7 billion.
It has also been reported that both Meituan and Dianping were planning on US IPO. Another Chinese group-buying site Wowo recently filed for US IPO. Wang hinted yesterday that his company wouldn’t go public in the next few years.
Before this round, Meituan had raised three rounds of funding: US$12 million from Sequoia Capital China in 2010, US$50 million led by Alibaba Group in 2011, and US$300 million in 2014, according to the company and media reports.
The company claimed it had had more than 60% of China’s group-buying market as of the end of 2014. It saw a 180% year-on-year growth in gross merchandize volume, 90% sales volume through mobile and more than 200 million registered users during 2014.
Both Meituan and Wowo have been expanding beyond group-buying. Wowo wants to be a Taobao-like marketplace for offline merchants. Meituan has developed separate apps for movie tickets, meal delivery and hotel booking. Movie ticket sales through Meituan’s CatEye (our translation) accounted for 16.89% of China’s box office in 2014, and the hotel booking app has become the second biggest after Ctrip in terms of the number of nights booked, Mr. Wang said yesterday.
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)