Dianwoba, an online food and grocery delivery service, announced an undisclosed amount of Series C funding from Koubei, the local lifestyle services company jointly established by Alibaba Group and its finance affiliate Ant Financial earlier this year.

The startup has received a $2 million USD series A funding from Gobi Partners in 2012 and eight-digit USD B series from SAIF PartnersTelescope and Qiaojing Venture Capital in 2014.

Dianwoba, founded in 2009, was one of the earliest entrants to China’s booming online food delivery sector with widespread networks in Hangzhou and Shanghai. The Hangzhou-based team has teamed up with more than 2000 catering brands so far.

The firm is planning two major business shifts after this new funding announcement. Positioned as an O2O service provider and e-commerce enabler that offers fast and guaranteed delivery service at its inception, the firm choose to enter with a food takeout business since it was a more accessible sector for a startup back then.

As the delivery network matures, it is a no-brainer for the company to restore its initial goal for building a lifestyle service platform that include delivery services addressing more user demands, like helping customers to buy daily supplies.

Dianwoba also rolled out a short-distance delivery platform, Dianwoda, to tap the business customer market. This service will be supported by a logistic team consisting of both crowdsourced and in-house deliverers. The company disclosed that Dianwoda is now operating in more than 10 cities nationwide, including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Wuhan.

On the one hand, the tie-up will grant Dianwoba support from Alibaba-related services like Alipay and Taobao Mobile, on the other hand, the startup is complementing Koubei’s offline expansion. Aside from Alibaba’s homegrown restaurant booking and food ordering service Taodiandian and Koubei Waimai, Koubei recently poured 300 million RMB in Shenghuo Banjing (Life Radius), a Beijing-based O2O service provider and e-commerce enabler that offers same-day guaranteed delivery service for customers of local restaurants and shops.

From another perspective, it makes sense for O2O startups to tap more business lines after testing their delivery network with food takeout services first. China’s top food ordering site Ele.me, which just raised $630 million USD last month, is also in discussion with Didi Kuaidi to build an all-inclusive logistics network.

Image credit: Dianwoba

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via lixin@sixthtone.com or Twitter.

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