SoftBank China Re-invests in Dingdang Kuaiyao Resulting in USD 90 Million
COVID-19 and China
Pills and capsules scattered. Photo: Steve Buissinne on Pixabay

On March 27th, Dingdang Kuaiyao (叮当快药) announced the completion of series C financing of CNY 600 million (USD 89.6 million). The previous investor, SoftBank China, joined the financing series again. CMB International (招银国际), CICC Capital(China International Capital Corporation,中金资本), and Sinopharm-CICC Capital(国药中金) jointly invested in Dingdang Kuaiyao. According to itjuzi, the valuation after financing is CNY 3.6 billion (USD 537.3 million).

Founded in 2014, Dingdang Kuaiyao was originally an online pharmacy and gradually extended its off-line physical pharmacy business. Dated now, Dingdang Kuaiyao has received five rounds of financing and SoftBank China invested in the latest two series financing rounds.

Dingdang Kuaiyao is marked as a new retail representative in pharmacy. Its business model is composed of online pharmacy, drug delivery, and offline smart pharmacy. In its online pharmacy, Dingdang Kuaiyao provides 7*24 and even 28-min delivery service to customers in the core business area. The fast delivery service can satisfy those time-sensitive order request and serve customers who prefer delivery service such as the old, the disabled, etc. The online pharmacy also has professional drug consulting service for customers in need.

The offline pharmacy of Dingdang Kuaiyao is regarded as smart pharmacy on accounting the presence of AI shopping guide robot Dingdang Big White (Dingdang Dabai, 叮当大白). The AI robot is backed up with voice assistance function enhanced with medication knowledge. Customers can consult the robot when they need advice and the robot can give back drug suggestions through rounds of asking detailed symptoms. However, the core competency of Dingdang Kuaiyao is not the shopping experience, but the change it brought to the supply chain.

Dingdang Kuaiyao has cooperated with more than 600 pharmaceutical companies worldwide and formed FSC (Factory Service Customer) Pharmaceutical Alliance. It directly works with drug manufacturers and simplifies the supply chain by reducing the middle agent roles.

Dingdang Kuaiyao can be regarded as an integrated platform that collects customers’ needs and reflects the demand to the supplier side, which forms a C2B2M (customer-to-business-to-manufacturer). Dingdang Kuaiyao converges data collected from customer side into a manufacturing order, which is more efficient and economic than pharmaceutical companies to sort out demand request from various pharmacy stores.

The ability of Dingdang Kuaiyao to attract investors can be deducted to its platform identity. The existence of a platform is to organize and process demand and supply sides when the size of both sides is huge and it is hard to maintain information symmetry. The platform serves to resolve the information asymmetry and help to improve the efficiency in the business and Dingdang Kuaiyao's function helps to eliminate the costs caused by information assymetry.

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