Tencent sets bigger bet on second-hand trading unicorn Zhuan Zhuan

Tech giants are increasing their presence in the Chinese second-hand trading market.

photo: stock.tuchong.com

Second-hand trading site Zhuan Zhuan, a platform incubated by Chinese online classifieds giant 58.com, has raised USD 300 million in its Series B round, led by existing investor Tencent, 36Kr reported today.

Previously, Tencent injected a hefty USD 200 million in the firm’s Series A round in 2017, valuing the startup at USD 1 billion. Zhuan Zhuan, which means “pass on” in Chinese, then gained an entry point on Tencent’s super app WeChat.

The US-listed firm 58.com, popularly known as China’s Craiglist, will remain the largest shareholder of Zhuan Zhuan.

Launched in November 2015, the online marketplace allows users to buy and sell used items. The platform most popular categories are mobile phones, apparel, and books.

In earlier July, Zhuan Zhuan acquired Whylab, a quality testing provider for electronics, in a bid to build a standardized and automated quality testing system for used cellphones exchanged over the platform.

With more than 50 million monthly active users (MAUs) on its app and WeChat mini program, Zhuan Zhuan had expanded its services to over 546 cities in 2018, according to the startup’s first annual white paper released in March.

Tencent continued investment denotes its interest in the country’s used goods trading sector, where Alibaba’s digital flea market Xianyu, meaning “Idle fish” in Chinese, is currently the top player, claiming 71% of all customers in 2018, while Zhuan Zhuan, the runner-up, only accounted for 20% of this sector, according to business data provider 100EC.

Chinese research agency MobData predicted that the transaction volume of China’s second-hand trading market could hit USD 176 billion by 2020.

The rise of e-commerce platforms for used items is partly due to the boom of the sharing economy and the public awareness for a more environment-friendly lifestyle, industry observers said.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company