Chinese warehousing and distribution services platform FineEx has secured 500 million yuan ($71 million) in a Series D round of financing led by Baidu Capital, an Internet-focused investment fund launched by search engine giant Baidu.
Russia-China Investment Fund, a $2-billion private equity vehicle financed by sovereign wealth funds in China and Russia, participated in the investment. Hong Kong-listed Chinese investment bank China Renaissance served as the exclusive financial adviser of the deal, said FineEx in a statement on Friday.
Shanghai-based FineEx is a third-party warehousing and distribution services and solutions provider serving e-commerce businesses. Its website shows that the company has served over 1,500 brands and nearly 200 million consumers.
The new investment will help FineEx further develop in the world’s largest e-commerce and mobile commerce market, where consumers are estimated to spend $2.09 trillion on retail e-commerce in 2020, up 16 per cent compared to 2019, as per US market researcher eMarketer.
eMarketer has downsized the projection for 7.7 per cent due to the impacts of the coronavirus, but it still represents hundreds of billions of US dollars in additional spending compared with one year earlier.
Founded in 2006, FineEx operates a network of 220 warehouses, including central, regional and front-end distribution centres that cover a total storage area of two million square metres (21.53 million square feet) in China.
The company plans to use the proceeds from the Series D round to further expand its warehouse network, with a target to offer “an integrated, all-channel logistics service” that bridges e-commerce corporate clients with their business partners and consumers. It aims to increase the number of its warehouses to 500 in the next three years, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, FineEx will also increase investment in the R&D of logistics software, intelligent warehousing technologies and equipment, as well as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud platform.
In May 2018, the company closed 370 million yuan ($52 million) in a Series C round led by Beijing-based alternative asset management firm Sino-Ocean Capital.
Its previous backers also include Chinese private equity companies DYEE Capital, Orient Jiafu, and Aurora Private Equity, which focuses on TMT and innovative consumption fields.