Chinese local listing site 58.com, which Tencent holds a stake in, is among the most active investor and acquirer of Chinese internet startups this year in an attempt to drive its O2O initiative.
A total of $1.5 billion USD funding was injected in various projects since the beginning of this year, said 58.com Chief Strategy Officer Chen Xiaohua to local media. Among these is 58.com’s merger with its arch-rival Ganji this April which terminated the decade-long battle between China’s two largest classified sites.
As O2O model gains momentum in China, 58.com’s O2O initiative continues to gain traction among local advertisers, and this has prompted the firm to expand footings in all O2O-related space. 58.com launched an ambitious plan to invest in 100 O2O startups.
Company CEO Yao Jinbo summed it up as a 4+N program, which primarily targets at four core businesses of transportation, real estate, on-demand services and recruitment. Startups focused on a wide category of different verticals will also be included in the company’s incubation and investment plan.
Here’s a roundup of 58.com’s O2O investments so far.
- 58.com purchased a 7.8% stake in eDaijia, a Beijing-based designated driver app connecting people who have consumed alcohol, with $20 million USD investment last year. Under the deal, 58.com’s designed driver business are integrated into eDaijia’s platform and the local listing site will not run similar services to avoid competition. The startup secured another $100 million USD Series D funding led by Warburg Pincus this May.
- Guaguaxiche, a location-based car-washing service, secured $10 million USD of Series A funding from 58.com.
- 58.com has fully acquired JXYDT, a driver’s training service.
- 58.com has followed an undisclosed amount of Series A in peer-to-peer car sharing platform Baojia in March 2014. Instead of owning cars, Baojia creates a virtual fleet from car owners who list their cars on the car sharing platform and rent them out to nearby drivers. Yao Jinbo, CEO of 58.com is the angel investor of Baojia.
- 273.cn, a second-hand car trading platform, landed eight-digit round B from IDG, Zheshang Holdings Jincheng and 58.com. The site has processed online trading of 240,000 cars in 2014 with an turnover of 15 billion RMB.
- 58.com has brought this August a 70% stake in Leftbrain, a technology company that is listed on China’s National Equities and Exchange and Quotation with 100 million RMB. Leftbrain owns and operates AutoComment, a major automotive information website and service platform in China.
2. Home Decoration and Real Estate
- 58.com has invested $34 million USD in home decoration service platform To8to for a minority stake. Launched in 2009, To8to is a third-party platform for customers, decoration companies, designers and construction material providers.
- 58.com merged with Anjuke, a Chinese property site launched in 2007, through a $267 million USD acquisition in March this year. 58 Anjuke Property Group will be established to operate all real estate-related businesses of the two companies.
3. On-demand Services
- Meidaojia, an on-demand beauty service that allow users to make appointments online, has booked eight-digit RMB funding from 58.com. Stated from Chengdu in 2014, Meidaojia has entered strategic partnership with L’Oreal, recruiting site Zhaopin and online dating site Jiayuan.
- 58.com invested $5 million USD A round in Diandao, an O2O massage booking service. 58.com CEO Yao Jinbo is also the investor of Diandao.
- 58.com has acquired an undisclosed stake in Lejia Yuesao, a maternity matron service platform which now operates under the brand of 50 Yuesao.
- 58.com acquired recruitment website ChinaHR.com with 1 billion RMB in May this year. Founded in 1997, China HR was the first online recruiting website to target the middle and higher end job market in China. Its services include campus recruiting, headhunting, recruiting process outsourcing and online recruiting.
- M91, a recruitment site, was wholly acquired by 58.com for an undisclosed sum.
Other deals include $10 million USD investment mobile social service Momo and strategic investment in after-school tutoring startup Laoshihao.