Middle East-focused Chinese e-commerce firm Jollychic raises $65m

Jollychic Middle East Logistics Center

Jollychic, a Chinese ecommerce platform that focuses on the Middle East region, has raised $65 million in its Series C+ funding round from sole investor G42 Group, a technology giant in the UAE.

The Chinese firm, which reached a valuation of $1 billion last year after raising hundreds of million in its Series C round led by Sequoia Capital, said G42 Group’s investment is “an important milestone” to further strengthen localisation.

G42 Group is a leading group in the field of innovation and technology, it is behind several national strategic technology projects in the UAE. It has rich industrial achievements in the frontier fields such as artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing.

“The new investment will drive Jollychic’s strategic initiatives to expand its segmentation, optimize its logistics system, and develop third-party payment platforms and e-wallets,” the Chinese ecommerce firm said in a statement.

Founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Aaron Li Haiyan, Jollychic currently has 50 million users, up from 35 million at the end of 2017, with the majority in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries such as Saudi Arabia.

It has offices across in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, Saudia Arabia, Dubai, UAE, and Jordan.

Its consumer products are sold to 34 countries, with a major focus on the Middle East region. It has over 2,500 employees worldwide, and its gross merchandise value (GMV) is growing over 300% annually for the past five years.

JollyChic claims to have over 35 million registered users on its platform and is the top-ranking e-commerce brand in the Middle-East. It acquired Jordanese e-commerce player MarkaVIP for an undisclosed sum in 2017.

Recently, JollyPay, a payment platform of Jollychic obtained relevant payment licenses in the UAE. It also received online payment service qualification in Saudi Arabia.

A report jointly released by Bain and Google predicts that the e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will reach nearly $30 billion in 2022.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, especially the core six countries of the Middle East (GCC), is one of the regions with the highest Internet coverage in the world, according to a report jointly released by Bain and Google.

However, the penetration rate of e-commerce in the region is only 2 per cent, and the market structure is also scattered. The ecommerce market has huge potential to develop, according to Jollychic.

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.