Korea: Baedal Minjok raises $50m in funding from Hillhouse Capital Group

South Korea-based Woowa Brothers Corp., the company behind food delivery app service Baedal Minjok, has raised $50 million in funding from Chinese investment management firm Hillhouse Capital Group, according to a report.

The company, which claimed to have recorded KRW 1 trillion (about $870 million) in transactions last year, intends to use the funds to get more market share in the fresh and prepared foods delivery market. It also aims to become a profitable company in 2016.

In November 2014, Woowa Brothers Corp announced having raised $36 million in its Series D round from Goldman Sachs. Prior to that, the company also raised a $11 million round of funding in March 2014. Previous fundraising rounds were not made public.

In July 2015, Kim Bong-jin, the CEO and co-founder of Woowa Brothers Corp, said in a press conference that the firm will eliminate its five to nine per cent commission fees for restaurant owners. Kim also noted that commission fees make up nearly 30 per cent of the company’s revenue.

“But we have long deliberated on this issue and today’s decision is meant to attract more customers, rather than enlarge our revenue, and will eventually help us last longer,” he added back then.

The firm will also continue working on improving existing spin-offs such as Baemin Riders, an app specialising in delivering food and beverages that are not typically delivered, such as beef cutlets and crabs, and Baemin Fresh, a unit that delivers fresh salads and other food products.

The company said that Baemin Riders, which was officially launched in August 2015, sees a 48 per cent increase in order numbers every month, and that Baemin Fresh also sees a 20 per cent in monthly order volume growth as well.

Other portfolio companies under Hillhouse Capital Group include Southeast Asian taxi hailing company Grab, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, Indian car portal Car Dekho, as well as China Internet conglomerates Baidu and Tencent.

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