It was only three months ago that 360Buy, China’s second-largest online store, wrapped up$400 million in funding. Today 360Buy has confirmed an even bigger injection of capital with a fifth round of funding worth $700 million. [UPDATED: The April 2011 round turns out to have been the largest ever, worth $1.5 billion in total, with $500 million of that from Russian investors, DST; the headline and first paragraph have been amended to reflect this].
It means that 360Buy, which is second in the B2C e-commerce sector in China to Alibaba’s Tmall site, has raised well over $2.5 billion since it first got investment back in 2007.
The massive new round saw participation once again from Ontario Teachers’ Retirement Fund (OTPP) along with new input from Riyadh-based Kingdom Holdings, which was founded by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud.
360Buy’s previous round effectively valued the store at $7.25 billion, but there’s no indication of its current valuation.
360Buy told Chinese media that the newest financing will be used to bolster day-to-day operations, as well as to build up its fledgling logistics service.
CEO and founder Liu Qiangdong has indicated in the past that 2013 was likely a good time for an IPO, but it’s not clear if the new investment would delay that timeline.
China’s e-commerce sector is marked by a ferocious burn rate for companies, as well as vicious price wars. 360Buy has diversified into a few areas where monetizing is a bit simpler in the past few months, such as by shipping some products to overseas customers, and launching an online music store within China.
(Source: iHeiMa – article in Chinese)
As Steven Millward points out in this article, the price wars un the sector ara quite amazing, wich explains the crazy burn rates. Differeciation is difficult when you are selling the same products that everybody else is selling…
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