Webuy, founded by former Alibaba executive, raises USD 100 million

It is deeply rooted within WeChat’s ecosystem and is backed by Tencent.

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Hangzhou-based e-commerce startup Webuy has closed its Series C financing round, collecting USD 100 million from investors led by Sky9 Capital, 36Kr reported on Saturday.

Previous investors, including Tencent and IDG, also participated in this round. The company’s current valuation is unknown.

The new funds will be used to expand its reach into smaller cities and to boost the performance of social commerce features such as live streaming and group buying on its platform, the company said.

Webuy was set up in late 2017 by Wu Qiangqiang, who once served as the general manager of Juhuasuan, Alibaba’s group-buying unit. Alibaba is also headquartered in Hangzhou, the capital of East China’s Zhejiang province.

The first app Webuy launched is called Haoyiku, which helps professional sellers sell clothes and suitcases to WeChat users by connecting them directly to factories. Haoyiku claims that it has connected more than 500,000 resellers and more than 4,000 brands. It also features an “academy” to teach resellers best practices and an online community for discussions among “teachers” and “students”.

In June 2018, the company launched a mini program called Shakingbaby on WeChat, which is similar to Haoyiku but is more deeply rooted in messaging app’s ecosystem.

Shakingbaby has attracted more than 10,000 brands so far, with daily sales on the mini program exceeding RMB 10 million (USD 1.45 million), according to data provided by Webuy and cited by 36Kr. A recent live streaming event initiated on Shakingbaby was viewed more than 4 million times and shared more than 100,000 times, generating RMB 12 million in sales value in the first three hours, 36Kr added.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.