Briefing: Alibaba expands to home furnishing with $25 million investment in Shengong007

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What happened: Alibaba has invested $25 million in the C round financing of home decoration service platform Shengong007. Specializing in providing offline services for installing, maintaining, and refurbishing furniture, the platform claims to have 50,00 registered workers who offer services in 307 cities and 28,000 towns.

Why it’s important: Alibaba is in an quest to build their new retail empire. Through partnerships with offline stores, the e-commerce giant is bringing the model to more industries. Home furnishing is one of the industries where new retail finds its latest application. In an earlier effort to tap the sector, Alibaba acquired a 15% stake in Easyhome, China’s leading home improvement suppliers and furniture chain operator.