8Dol.com, a Chinese campus online-to-offline (O2O) service provider, has raised $30 million in an extended series B round.
The funding was led by cosmetics company Longrich. Domestic fund Jiangsu Suda Tiangong Venture Capital also participated, according to a company release.
O2O is one of China’s hottest tech sectors. Such startups draw mobile users to local physical stores and services.
8Dol.com will use the funding expand its online retail business, and develop new products in collaboration with Longrich. For the latter, it is a strategic investment to reach a new generation of buyers. It currently produces household cleaning and personal care products.
As part of the strategic investment, 8Dol.com will cooperate with Longrich to develop new products targeting the new generation. The company will use the fresh funding to expand its online retailing business.
8Dol.com had last raised funding in March last year, from Shunwei Capital Partners and Fosun Kinzon Capital.
The startup enables students to order food, drinks and fresh product online, which is then delivered to campuses. 8Dol.com has built a network of more than 14 warehouses and 500 distribution centers, which enables it to reach a wide swatch of campuses in China. It currently delivers to over 2,000 universities, about a thousand office buildings and convenience stores in 50 cities.
Online campus stores have recently attracted investor interest. Shanghai-based Zhai.me raised $35 million in a series B round, while rival 59store.com raised $31 million in a round led by Shenzhen Capital Group.
The O2O sector boomed in China driven by three factors: widespread usage of smartphones, a burgeoning mobile payment sector and cheap migrant labor. O2O startups developed apps for services from ride hailing and food delivery to group discounts at shops, restaurants and cinemas, and attracted billions in funding from technology giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent as well as from venture capitalists, private equity and sovereign wealth funds.
But the tide began to turn in the last quarter of 2015, as investors started warning of a market bubble. The funding environment quickly turned adverse, as skyrocketing valuations deterred investors from fresh funding, leading to the shutting down or acquisition of several such companies.