Chinese e-commerce platform Yunji files for US IPO

Times Square is seen through the window of the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Yunji, a Chinese social e-commerce platform, has filed to list in the US, with an expectation to raise up to $200 million in the initial public offering (IPO), according to its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

The company’s filing is heavily redacted, so it is still unclear how many shares Yunji intends to offer but it said it will use the proceeds to enhance and expand its business operations, upgrade its technology infrastructure, and expand its fulfilment facilities.

A Reuters report in September 2018 citing sources had said that Yunji hopes to fetch a valuation of between $7 billion and $10 billion in the IPO.

The company, which has named Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and CICC as joint bookrunners on the deal, plans to list on the NASDAQ under the symbol “YJ”.

Founded in 2015, Yunji targets small and medium distribution sellers by helping them establish and maintain their online platforms, the company said. The company raised about $36.1 million in a Series A round led by Crescent Point Capital and joined by Eastern Bell Venture Capital in 2016.

“As a leading social e-commerce platform in China, we have pioneered a unique, membership-based model that leverages the power of social interaction. We offer high-quality products at attractive prices and incentivise our members to promote our platform and share our products with their social contacts,” the company said in its filing.

As of December 31, 2018, it had accumulated 7.4 million members, according to the company. It also booked about $1.9 billion in sales for the 12 months that ended December 31, 2018, its prospectus showed.

“We currently generate revenues primarily from selling products on our platform to users, including both members and non-members. Total orders we fulfilled increased substantially from 13.5 million in 2016 to 75.8 million in 2017 and further to 153.4 million in 2018,” Yunji said.

According to a report by China Internet Network Information Center and CIC, China’s online retail industry has experienced tremendous growth, with the overall market size growing from 3.8 trillion yuan ($566 million) in 2015 to 7.2 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) in 2017, representing a CAGR of 37 per cent. The industry is expected to grow to 15 trillion yuan ($2.2 trillion) in 2022.

Yunji joins a number of Chinese firms that are seeking to raise or have raised funding through IPO in the US. Last week, Beijing-based online brokerage and financial advisory firm Up Fintech Holdings, also known as Tiger Brokers, raised $104 million after pricing its US IPO above range.

36Kr, a Chinese website that tracks startup fundraising in the country, is planning an overseas initial public offering, according to a Bloomberg report. The Beijing-based company is considering selling shares of its flagship media business in the US as soon as this year, the report added.

Also Read:

China Digest: E-commerce platform Yunji raises $120m, Shenzhen Capital backs Formlabs’ $30m round

Chinese e-commerce portal Yunji Weidian taps banks for U.S. IPO

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.

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.