Tencent-backed Pinduoduo, China’s fastest growing e-commerce high-flyer, is filing with SEC next week for a US IPO, according to local magazine China Entrepreneur citing people familiar with the matter, with Goldman Sachs and China International Capital Corporation (CICC) as its underwriters.
The floatation is rumored to be valued at US$30 billion, according to the same China Entrepreneur story citing unnamed institutional investor sources.
Shanghai-based Pinduoduo’s latest financing was a $3 billion Series D led by Tencent and Sequoia China at a $15 billion valuation.
Pinduoduo, which counts Tencent, Sequoia, Xiaomi, and IDG among others as backers in the four rounds it raised thus far, declined to comment on the matter.
Founded in 2015, leveraging on cheap group buying deals and word-of-mouth marketing built on the back of WeChat, 3-year-old Pinduoduo has grown to be the fastest-growing ecommerce company in China, claims a more than RMB tens of millions Grand Merchandise Value (GMV) in 2017, and an averaged daily order that eclipsed also Tencent-backed JD.com in the same period.
The social ecommerce upstart, which took only two years and a half to cross the tens of millions GMV threshold compared to JD’s 10 years, now boasts of 300 million users, same as JD and half of Alibaba’s Taobao.
It appears that, Pinduoduo’s breakneck growth trajectory, inevitably will lead to some concerns.
The company is recently in disputes with merchants on its platform after it cracked down on counterfeit products. Penalized store owners have been protesting around Pinduoduo’s headquarter starting from June and by June 13, a few of angry protesters brawled with security guards, according to a local media.
Its fast development has also drawn fire from Alibaba which has launched a discounts app to rival Pinduoduo. JD, although also counts Tencent as a backer, has reportedly established a department to thwart Pinduoduo’s development.