Chinese antiques platform Wanwu Dezhi closes $80m Series C round

Chinese antiques & collectables platform Wanwu Dezhi has secured $80 million in a Series C round of financing jointly led by China Renaissance’s Huaxing New Economy Fund and Beijing-based Source Code Capital, per its announcement on Wednesday.

GGV Capital and United Media FOFs, a culture industry-focused fund of funds financed by Chinese state-owned media firm Shanghai United Media Group and government-guided funds, also joined the round.

Set up in 2018, Hangzhou-based Wanwu Dezhi’s platform enables users to purchase antiques and collectables from merchants. It sells merchandise such as jade jewellery, ceramics, woodcarving works, calligraphy, paintings, and other arts and crafts.

China’s antiques and collectables market is still developing at its early phase, said the startup founder and CEO Tang Jinshang in a statement. “Many arts and crafts, as well as culture-related collectables in the market are yet to branded and promoted. The industry’s scattered supply chain and intermingled product & service quality require more customized solutions from a professional team.”

Wanwu Dezhi’s app, which was launched in March 2019, has garnered more than 42 million registered users, facilitating up to over 1 billion yuan ($149.2 million) of transactions per month. The app had 5.1 million monthly active users (MAUs) in September 2020, according to Chinese mobile Internet data provider Quest Mobile.

The app provides authentication and appraisal services that help consumers rate the value of their purchases before the delivery. The firm has collaborated with 500 professional appraisers, and online orders for such services have crossed one million.

The startup expects to facilitate over 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) of transactions in 2020.

“China’s antiques and collectables market, which used to have a low degree of online transformation, is marching firmly into a trend of more online plus offline offerings. The rising popularity of live-streaming sales has further accelerated the trend,” said Lei Ming, principal of Huaxing New Economy Fund.

Proceeds of the new round will be used to upgrade the firm’s e-commerce platform, to improve the construction of its user service system, as well as to support talent recruitment and personnel training.

Prior to the latest transaction, Wanwu Dezhi raised four rounds from investors including Beijing-based early-stage VC firm ZhenFund, China Renaissance’s K2VC, and GGV Capital.

The startup had closed tens of millions of US dollars in a Series B round led by Source Code Capital in April 2020.

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.