Goldman-backed Chinese pet services firm Boqii files for $115m US IPO

Boqii Co, a Chinese pet products and services platform backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc, has filed to raise $115 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, partly to finance its research and development initiatives.

The company’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission was highly redacted. It intends to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BQ.

The filing comes about three months after Boqii raised over $60 million in fresh funding.

Shanghai-based Boqii.com was launched in September 2008 and started as an online pet encyclopedia, as well as a website for pet enthusiasts to exchange and share their pet raising experience.

The company later entered into the e-commerce field, delivering pet-related products like dry & wet pet food, treats and snacks, shampoo, clothes, and beds before it further expanded offerings in 2014 to cooperate with offline pet stores and hospitals to provide pet fostering, grooming, sterilization, and healthcare services, among others.

“Boqii was founded for the love of pets. With this belief, we are inspired to empower the pet ecosystem and instill love and trust into pet parenting,” the company said.

Boqii, which has partnered with over 410 brands, plans to use the net proceeds from the offering to further invest in content innovation, membership system development, and R&D, including big data technology, among others.

The company offers customers access to 17,853 SKUs as of June 30, 2020, and it delivered more than 43.2 million online orders to its customers from its inception.

Boqii generates revenues primarily from transactions completed on its online sales platform and sales to physical pet stores it partners with.

For the fiscal years ended March 31, 2019 and 2020, net revenues generated from the sale of products were 798.0 million yuan ($117 million) and 767.5 million yuan ($109 million). It reported a net loss of $24.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31. In the second quarter, the company posted revenue of $33.7 million and a loss of $6 million.

In its Series C round, Boqii.com collected $102 million in what it claimed to be the largest investment in the Chinese pet industry in February 2016. The deal was backed by investors including Goldman Sachs and Chinese commercial bank China Merchants Bank, as well as Boqii.com’s executives who injected a combined $4 million.

Goldman Sachs also invested $25 million in Boqii.com’s Series B round in February 2014. It first poured money into the company’s Series A round in October 2012 along with JAFCO Asia, a subsidiary of Japanese venture capital firm JAFCO. The Series A round was worth tens of millions of U.S. dollars.

According to Chinese market researcher iiMedia Research, the scale of China’s pet market has reached nearly 171 billion yuan ($24 billion) in 2018 and is poised to hit more than 295 billion yuan ($42 billion) this year.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.