China Digest: Weimob to buy Yazuo for $16m; OrderPlus gets $14m from Cathay Capital

Photo: Reuters

Hong Kong-listed commerce and marketing firm Weimob has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Chinese intelligent catering solutions firm Yazuo, while Cathay Capital has invested 100 million yuan ($14 million) in a Series B funding round of Chinese cross-border e-commerce OrderPlus.

HK-listed Weimob to pay $16m for majority stake in Yazuo

Weimob, a Hong Kong-listed provider of cloud-based commerce and marketing solutions, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Chinese intelligent catering solutions firm Wuxi Yazuo Zaixian Technology for almost 115 million yuan ($16 million).

Shanghai-based Weimob will purchase 63.83 per cent shares in Yazuo through an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Weimob Canlin, the company disclosed in a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday (February 19). Yazuo will become an affiliate of Weimob after the completion of the transaction.

Through the acquisition, Weimob aims to build “a one-stop intelligent catering solution” that integrates membership management, cashier, food delivery, ordering, reservation and supply chain management, among others, said the company.

Backed by investors like American investment management firm BlackRock, Chinese technology giant Tencent, and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, Weimob primarily delivers software-as-a-service (SaaS) products to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the fields of e-commerce, retail, local life and hotel. The company is the largest enabler of WeChat advertising solutions for SMEs in China.

Weimob raised HK$845 million ($109 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) in January 2019. Tencent, GIC, and BlackRock increased their stakes in the company through a strategic investment of nearly HK$1.16 billion ($149 million) in July 2019.

The total revenue of Weimob increased by 97.8 per cent from 332 million yuan in the first half of 2018 to 657 million yuan ($94 million) in the first half of 2019. Its gross profit for the same periods grew by 58.2 per cent to reach 365 million yuan ($52 million) in the first half of 2019, according to its latest interim report released in September 2019.

Established in May 2006 and based in eastern China’s Wuxi city, Yazuo now serves over one million food and beverage brands across 29 provinces in China, shows the company website.

OrderPlus closes $14m Series B round from Cathay Capital  

Cathay Capital, a Chinese-French private equity platform with €3.5 billion ($3.78 billion) under management, has invested 100 million yuan ($14 million) in a Series B funding round of Chinese cross-border e-commerce OrderPlus.

“China has grown beyond the global largest consumer market to become the top one supply chain market worldwide. We have already noticed a group of Chinese companies with cost-efficiency advantages in the global market,” said Duan Chunlan, managing partner of Cathay Capital, in a company WeChat post on Thursday (February 20).

Duan continued that OrderPlus “is able to keenly identify the consumer demand and to offer a solid supply chain foundation based on original design and cooperation with third-party suppliers.” Cathay Capital will leverage its resources in the fashion consumption field to help OrderPlus access cooperation and investment opportunities overseas, said Duan.

Headquartered in central China’s Xi’an city, OrderPlus delivers Chinese goods, such as clothes, accessories, maternal and child supplies, consumer electronics and household products, to customers overseas. The company booked over 1 billion yuan ($143 million) in operating income and an annual profit of about 100 million yuan ($14 million) in 2018.

With over 1,000 employees, the company has offices across cities like Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Jakarta.

The company plans to “build a comprehensive product matrix by introducing sub-brands in vertical global consumption segments,” said Lu Wei, founder of OrderPlus. “Meanwhile, the company will speed up the business construction in frenzied social e-commerce areas powered by short video-sharing, and accelerate its expansion into emerging markets like Southeast Asia.”

Proceeds will be used for talent recruitment, IT system upgrades, and expansion into the emerging market.

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.

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.