Chinese cross-border e-commerce firm Club Factory nets $100m in Series D led by Qiming

Photo: Club Factory website

Chinese cross-border e-commerce platform Club Factory has raised $100 million in a Series D round of financing led by investors including Chinese venture capital firm Qiming Venture Partners.

The Series D round saw the participation of Club Factory’s existing shareholders Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), the investment platform of German media, services and education firm Bertelsmann, and Frees Fund, an investment company co-founded by IDG-Accel’s former partner Li Feng, BAI announced in a statement on its WeChat official account on Friday. The transaction was completed earlier this year.

Club Factory, founded in October 2016 by Stanford graduate Vincent Lou, started the business in the emerging overseas e-commerce market with a focus on India, since the market in China was already grabbed by internet majors including Alibaba, JD.com, and NetEase.

The platform claimed in early September to have become the third-largest online shopping app in India, replacing Snapdeal, in terms of the number of monthly active users (MAUs) on the Android platform. E-commerce majors Amazon and Flipkart stand at the first and second positions, according to data analytics platform App Annie.

“India has the world’s second-largest population with the purchasing power parity (PPP) ranking third worldwide. A huge market like this undoubtedly has diversified market demand, but [e-commerce companies like] Amazon and Flipkart adopted an operation pattern similar to China’s JD.com, which pursues high product quality through a closed ecological chain,” said the company founder and CEO Vincent Lou.

“Indian customers also need another kind of e-commerce platform – a more open platform – which provides more options to customers and more vitality to the e-commerce field. This is the main reason why Club Factory can rapidly develop in the country,” said Lou.

Club Factory aims to further enhance the “open platform strategy” after the new funding round by expanding the range of products to deliver more offerings like Indian traditional costume Sari. The platform will also attract more local merchants and enhance its data management services.

Club Factory raised a $100 million Series C round led by BAI in February 2018. The company also closed $20 million in a Series B round in January 2017, according to Crunchbase.