Alibaba leads $300 million investment in Xiaohongshu

Lifestyle and community e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu (小红书) has completed its Alibaba-led Series D worth $300 million, with a valuation of $3 billion, local media is reporting.

Both new and old investors took part in the round, which also includes Jinshajiang Venture Capital, Tencent Investment, Jiyuan Capital, Yuansheng Capital, Tiantu Investment, Zhenwen Fund, and K11 Zheng Zhigang. The company will use the funds to expand its team, improve its technology, and grow its user base.

Xiaohongshu was founded in 2013 and currently has more than 100 million users and 30 million monthly active users (MAU), most of whom were born in the 90s. It allows users to share short videos and photos focussing on beauty, fashion, food, travel, and entertainment.

The founder of the company broke the news to employees in an internal letter, saying the company had built a virtual city that belongs to its users.

For Alibaba, the investment marks an indirect push into the international market. Xiaohongshu also allows users to share cross-border shopping information. The e-commerce giant’s global revenue makes up 8% of its total. The company has been investing heavily in firms around Asia through funding in Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Alibaba has made a number of investments in Lazada Group, South East Asia’s biggest e-commerce platform, increasing its stake in the company in April 2016, June 2017, and March 2018. The company also has stakes in Tokopedia in Indonesia and BigBasket in India.