Among the many up-and-comers, jostling for a spot in China’s massive e-commerce industry, there are a few that pick a niche market and present a novel business model different from the establishment.
Chinese social e-commerce app Fresh Buddy announced on Tuesday that it has raised $100 million in a Series B funding round. It was led by Genesis Capital, a growth-stage fund founded by two former Tencent executives. SIG China, DCM Ventures and Vision Plus Capital also participated in the round, with China Renaissance serving as the exclusive financial advisor.
The company is a project incubated by Miss Fresh (branded as Meiri Youxian in China), a Tencent-backed service used by 50 percent of China’s online fresh produce shoppers as of June, according to research firm Trustdata.
Like its parent, Fresh Buddy sells and delivers vegetables and fruits, but it comes with a twist. While Miss Fresh goes after consumers in China’s megacities, the new project lures small-town consumers with a multilevel revenue-sharing scheme: Users get cash rewards when they get other people to use the app.