Briefing: Tencent-backed fashion platform Mogujie files for $200 million US IPO

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蘑菇街赴美IPO,最高募资2亿美元,腾讯占股比例最大– Sina Tech

What happened: Fashion and lifestyle e-commerce platform Mogu Inc. has filed for a $200 million IPO on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol of MOGU. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and China Renaissance are the underwriters on the deal. Tencent is the largest shareholder in the company with an 18% stake, followed by Company CEO Chen Qi (11.9%), Hillhouse Capital (10.2%) and Trustbridge Partners (8.2%).

Why it’s important: Founded by Alibaba alumni in 2011, Mogu Inc. (more commonly known under the Mogujie brand) started as a Pinterest-style social sharing site where users can share their shopping experience along with URL linking to the shops, most Taobao stores, in the company’s early stages. Despite the traffic-boosting effects for Alibaba, the rise of social e-commerce platforms like Mogujie also form direct competition with the e-commerce giant for it lured users away from Taobao and Tmall marketplaces where those users used to browse and search for goods. Such behavior is a major source for advertising revenues for the company. After a few rumors about a possible acquisition of Mogujie, Alibaba blocked external linking from the platform to Taobao stores. Mogujie then started to develop its in-house e-commerce business and acquired its major rival Meilishuo in 2016. Tencent, a former investor of Meilishuo, become a major shareholder of the merged company through additional investment, moving a step further in its attempt to encroach on Alibaba’s home turf in the e-commerce business.