Miss Fresh Closes a New Round of Financing
The epidemic inadvertently adds yet another shock to this fiercely competitive track.
► Miss Fresh has completed eight rounds of financing of USD 1.53 billion within five years.
► Controlling cost and efficiency are the challenges that Miss Fresh faces.
Miss Fresh has completed a new round of financing, with a pre-investment valuation of over USD 3 billion, led by multiple investors including CICC Capital, a Chinese media claimed. With boasts of its capital advantage, the firm is aggressively threatening other competitors such as Fresh Hema and Meituanmaicai (美团买菜).
Miss Fresh, the earliest practitioner of front-end warehouses, focuses on the establishment of cold chain logistics systems to provide users with a 2-hour delivery service. Starting from 2014, the firm completed eight rounds of financing, including Tencent, Lenovo Venture Capital, Tiger Global, Jeneration Capital.
As an e-commerce company whose business model is real-time delivery, Miss Fresh targets users who do not have free time to shop offline but pursue delivery efficiency. However, under the track of the fresh front storehouse, the firm faces brutal challenges due to the high cost bought by self-operated delivery. It is hard to support sufficient gross profit because of the short delivery time and the need for pretreatment.
Fresh Hema, backed by Alibaba, also withdrew from the Fuzhou market in May 2020. Even if the closing of the store seems to be a normal business adjustment, it is of great significance to the fresh retail industry. Although three meals are a necessity, in the case where the total amount is unlikely to increase dramatically, existing users have become a competing place for all players.
Affected by the epidemic, the fresh food industry saw explosive growth as user demand rose rapidly. Traffic is still flooding in. However, fierce changes in the competitive environment, as well as the diversity of consumer choices, make the fresh retail track always coexist with flowers and thorns. To stand out, Miss Fresh must put much effort into efficiency, the fundamental of fresh food retail.
Xu Zheng, the founder of Miss Fresh, said in a letter on the fifth anniversary of the company that the first half of the fight is model, the rest is strength. Online fresh retail may be more concentrated than offline retail, but there is no winner-take-all. In other words, whoever wants to dominate the market, kill opponents, or advocate the ultimate model risks sounding futile.