SEE (小电铺), an e-commerce solution provider to WeChat public accounts, announced that it has raised tens of millions of dollars in a fresh C-plus round led by Sequoia Capital, with contributions from Qianhai Fangzhou, Danhe Capital, IDG, BAI and Morningside Venture Capital. China’s biztech media 36Kr has learned that the new round followed a Series C round from strategic investor Tencent this January and brings the company’s C funding total to over $50 million.
SEE tapped into the WeChat ecosystem in 2016 by offering an upstream supply chain, logistics, and warehousing services to WeChat public accounts, hoping to monetize their content through e-commerce.
WAN Xucheng, founder and CEO of SEE, thinks that SEE and WeChat public accounts are like business partners, they jointly operate a retail business. WeChat public accounts create content to educate and influence users, while SEE provides mini program-based e-commerce solutions.
On top of the e-commerce mini program, SEE began to support additional features like group buying and redeeming of credits last year.
According to statistics provided by the company, SEE has provided services to over 5,000 WeChat public accounts since it went online in June 2017 and has amassed more than 10 million registered users. Its monthly orders exceeded 1 million at its peak, with monthly GMV reaching tens of millions of yuan, and month-on-month growth exceeding 60%.
The year of 2018 has seen mini-programs emerge as a new battlefield of social commerce. According to WeChat Data Report 2017, the total number of active followers of public accounts neared 800 million in 2017. In the future, WAN Xucheng expects to expand cooperation with WeChat accounts and will place greater emphasis on user experience, service efficiency, and return on investment.
On the supply end, SEE is cooperating with about 2,000 brands over one or two SKUs each. Operators of WeChat public accounts may select products based on market trends and their own positioning.
People who shop on SEE are primarily the middle class in China’s third-tier and fourth-tier cities, and the middle-income group and people aged between 18 and 30 in first-tier and second-tier cities. The average spending per consumer is a few dozen yuan.