CleverHome Acquires CNY 80 Million in Pre-B Round Led by China Growth Capital
COVID-19 and China
Dar es Salaam Port in Tanzania. Photo: World Bank Photo Collection on Visualhunt

Apr 16th, 2019 /EqualOcean/ - The leading cross-border e-commerce platform CleverHome (卖到非洲网) announced that it had acquired Pre-B financing in amount of CNY 80 million (USD 11.8 million) from China Growth Capital (华创资本). The financing will be used for business development including store expansion, variety increase, overseas supply chain, and others.

Founded in 2015, CleverHome is a Chinese company based in Shanghai free trade zone providing a cross-border e-commerce platform for consumption commodities and construction material business. It closed its series A financing in April 2018 and received the pre-B investment from China Growth Capital solely. China Growth Capital is a famous Chinese venture capital betting on the future of e-commerce and to-B services. According to itjuzi, it has participated in 55 rounds of financing of to-B service companies and 32 rounds of financing of e-commerce companies. CleverHome, a bridge e-commerce platform connecting China and Africa, represents a trend in the economic globalization and conforms to China Growth Capital’s idea – new real economy.

According to its homepage, CleverHome now has opened approximated 3,000 stores and 500 overseas warehouses with 1,000 men in the business development team in 10 African countries. 95% of the team are local residents. The core business of CleverHome relies on construction material trades. It encourages Chinese construction material enterprises to build overseas factories directly, which will be easier in cross-border business and cost saving. The company also provides one-stop cross-border trade solutions like agency, custom filings, and so on.

According to the company, it will build a 40,000-square-meter (436,556 square feet) mall in Lagos, Nigeria, which is the center in West Africa with a radiation coverage of around 500 million population. The company plans to introduce over 2,000 enterprises to enter the mall and will provide one-stop service covering from the export part to sales.

EO was told that 70% of the revenue came from the regular chain and CleverHome stated that it would explore and expand possible distribution channels to decrease the share of the revenue from regular chains in the future. The company will cooperate with local agents to expand its business range and coverage. Besides, building an industrial park will be another solution for CleverHome to use its strengths in the local market to provide services and decrease the share from regular chains.

The founder CHEN Yalin (陈亚林) said that entering the African market from construction materials is based on Africa’s situation. Africa is young and full of opportunities with its demographic dividends (population annual growth > 3%). The infrastructure network in Africa is still far from mature. For all business and developments, the infrastructural construction is a must. Hence, starting from construction material business will accelerate the landing speed of Chinese enterprises and other possible derivative business.

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