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Image credit: Nice Tuan

Nice Tuan nets another $80m amid China’s fresh food group-buying hype

July 29, 2020

Nice Tuan, a Chinese e-grocer that allows customers to group-buy fresh produce and other goods, has received $80 million in a ‘Series C2’ financing led by alternative asset manager CDH Investments.

California-based GGV Capital, China Minsheng Bank subsidiary CMBC International, and Shanghai’s INCE Capital also invested in the round.

Also known as Shi Hui Tuan, the platform lets users band together to purchase fresh food in bulk — often via a single person who acts as an agent — leading to lower prices for consumers and better cost effectiveness for vendors such as farmers. It also offers non-perishable foods, snacks, health and beauty products, and everyday household items, and promises next-day or same-day delivery for most fresh purchases.

Launched in 2018 and based in Beijing, Nice Tuan claims to serve around 20 million urban households across 100 cities. During the height of China’s Covid-19 lockdown earlier this year, it was designated as an ‘essential service’ by several provincial and municipal-level governments in the country as a supplier of food and agri-commodities to the community.

Nice Tuan will use the new funds to enhance its warehousing and distribution capacity and strengthen its supply chain. Over the next three years it plans to create around 3 million self pick-up points across China, which will allow most of its urban and rural users to collect their group purchases from within a five-minute walk of their home or workplace.

This latest investment takes the startup’s total funding to date to almost $300 million, according to a WeChat post from CDH. Of that, at least $250 million has been pumped into the company since the start of the year, including two other $80 million-plus rounds.

In May, Nice Tuan raised $81.4 million in ‘Series C1’ funding in a GGV Capital-led round.

This followed the close of its Series B round in January, which saw it bank $88.3 million from lead investor Alibaba and Chinese VC firms Qiming Venture Partners, China Growth Capital, Joy Capital, and INCE Capital.

Qiming earlier led the startup’s $27.8 million Series A round in May 2019, and participated in its August 2018 seed round alongside Joy Capital and ZhenFund.

Nice Tuan is just one of several social commerce-oriented ‘community e-grocers’ in China that have secured major venture investments of late.

According to the most recent edition of AgFunder’s China AgriFood Startup Investing Report, others to have raised big funds last year include Tongcheng Life, which got $100 million in an August Series B round led by Legend Capital. It scored a further $200 million in Series C funding last month, co-led by livestreaming platform Joyy.

Familyone — also known as Lilinyi — nabbed $30 million from Sequoia Capital, Gaorong VC, Source Code Capital, Capital Today, and retail giant Suning.

Another Chinese group-buying platform that raised significant capital in 2019 was Chujia Xinxuan, which netted $14 million in Series A funding from GF Xinde Investment Management.

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