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.