Meituan Dianping’s VC arm Longzhu Capital closes $300m first fund

Menu icons are displayed on the Meituan application on an Apple Inc. iPhone in an arranged photograph taken in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, March 23, 2018. Meituan Dianping, the Chinese food reviews and delivery giant backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., has begun discussions on a Hong Kong initial public offering as soon as this year, according to people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg

Longzhu Capital, the venture capital arm of Chinese internet giant Meituan Dianping, has raised a total of RMB2 billion ($301.66 million) for its debut fund, according to China Money Network.

Meituan Dianping and its backer Tencent Holdings Ltd. were among investors contributing to the fund, which exceeded its initial RMB 1.5-billion target, the report said. Other backers include China Merchants Capital, New York Stock Exchange-listed asset management firm Noah Holdings, Chinese agricultural enterprise New Hope Group, Guochuang Kaiyuan Fund, and Xiangjiang Shengshi Fund.

The fund, the CMN report said, will focus on investments in catering, new retail and local services.

In April, Longzhu led a $63.3-million Series B funding round for Chinese tea shop chain HeyTea. The financing came after it led an RMB 96 million ($14.5 million) Series A round in Bliss Cake.

Longzhu has said that its portfolio startups will not only get financial support but also gain from Meituan Dianping’s resources in marketing, IT, logistics, operation and others.

News of the newly raised fund comes after Meituan Dianping was reported late last month to have filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong, targeting to raise $6 billion at a valuation of roughly $60 billion.

An IPO would give Meituan more firepower to compete in a number of its business sectors such as food delivery, which pits it against Alibaba-backed companies, ride-hailing dominated by Didi Chuxing and payments where backer Tencent is a rival.

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