Suning.com’s e-commerce and online retail unit raises $912m Series A funding

Suning.com's headquarters in Nanjing, China. Source: Suning.com

Suning.com, one of the largest retailers in China, announced on Tuesday that its e-commerce and online retail arm Yunwang Wandian has secured 6 billion yuan ($912.3 million) in a Series A round of financing as the company seeks to consolidate and take full advantage of its online-and-offline resources.

At a pre-money valuation of 25 billion yuan ($3.8 billion), Yunwang Wandian entered into a fundraising agreement with a group of domestic institutional investors on November 30, Suning.com disclosed in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange on December 1.

Chinese government-guided investment firm Shenzhen Capital Group led the Series A round. Other strategic investors include a Chinese state-owned vehicle backed by southern China’s Luohu Government; SenseRobot Management; and a fund managed by Beijing-based Fengyun Capital.

V Star Capital, which started as an RMB-denominated spin-off of GGV Capital; Central China International Asset Management, the asset management unit of Hong Kong-based Central China International; and global investment firm Softfir Capital, among others, also participate in the deal.

Yunwang Wandian will remain a majority-owned subsidiary of Suning.com upon the completion of the transaction.

Yunwang Wandian, which means “bridging tens of thousands of shops” in Chinese, was established in  November 2020, to provide individuals, dealers, suppliers, and merchants with e-commerce and internet retail solutions covering supply chain, logistics, aftersales, and related aspects.

The new financing will enable the new venture to access “strong financial support and strategic resources,” which can help it expand clients, increase investment in R&D, enhance the platform operation capability, and improve service quality, said Suning.com in the filing.

Nanjing-based Suning.com expects the development of the venture to bring “scale efficiency” advancements in its heavily-invested areas of supply chain, logistics, and IT infrastructure.

Suning.com, which started 30 years ago as an air conditioning speciality store in eastern China’s Nanjing City, has grown into the country’s largest online-and-offline integrated retailer, said Lou Yang, vice president of Chinese investment bank Lighthouse Capital, in a statement. Lighthouse Capital served as the financial advisor of the deal.

“The firm’s 30-year development itself represents the history of the Chinese retail industry,” said Lou. He said that the birth of Yunwang Wandian underscores Suning.com’s efforts to build an integrated, comprehensive retail platform that can empower small businesses with customised online retail solutions.

Suning.com posted a revenue of 62.4 billion yuan ($9.5 billion) in the third quarter of 2020, down 4.58 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. Its net profit attributable to shareholders stood at 713.7 million yuan ($108.6 million) in the period, down 92.7 per cent year-over-year.

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).   

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  • 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. 
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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.