On May 8, 2019, Beidian (贝店), the social e-commerce platform under Beibei.com, completed its new round of fundraising for CNY 860 million. This round of investment is led by Hillhouse Capital, Xiang He Captial, Sequoia, Sinovation Ventures, Gaorong Capital, IDG Capital, Captial Today, and other well-known investment institutions. The money raised will be mainly applied to supply chain upgrading to realize better social-driven retail experiences for its users.
Beidian was founded in August 2017, its mission is “ To let more people live a better life”, providing consumers with household products, clothing, food, beauty care, maternal and child products, etc. Beidian adheres to the self-run supply chain model and has reached in-depth cooperation with tens of thousands of high-quality brands, source factories and agricultural products bases around the world to ensure that consumers can spend less money to buy better products.
In 2018, the number of orders in the one quarter exceeded 100 million. At the beginning of 2019, the number of users in the store exceeded 50 million (it’s competitor Yunji has a user number of 45 million). According to QuestMobile, a well-known mobile Internet big data company, in the mobile shopping field, Beidian’s MAU increased by 549.6% to 13.29 million. The growth rate continues to lead the nation's mobile e-commerce, ranking first among the social-driven e-commerce companies.
In recent years, the traditional e-commerce giants like Taobao and JD.com have experienced the slowdown of the increase rate of its users, the cost of acquiring customers keeps increasing while the traffic bonus from first and second-tier cities are going down as well(see how Pinduoduo cooperate with low-tier cities).
However, Internet popularization and consumption upgrading have brought customers from low tier cities from offline to online. Both users increase rate and penetration show a promising market.
Under this background, social-driven companies are founded. The advantages of social e-commerce are that it can shorten the supply chain, realize the explosive growth of users through fission, and open the blue-sea market of low-tier-cities users. Pinduoduo (拼多多)represents the group shopping mode, Beidian, and Yunji (云集) are in the way of exploring the S2B2C mode, Xiaohongshu (小红书) and Baobaoshu are community-based modes, Youzan and Weimeng represent the SaaS modes. These social-driven e-commerce companies are all favored by capital, and the recognition of social e-commerce in the capital market is even more enhanced, in return have developed with amazing speed.
Pinduoduo as the social e-commerce leading brand, listed on NASDAQ on Jul. 2018 within 3 years of its foundation, Yunji who just officially listed on NASDAQ as well is only in its fourth year of establishment.
These eye-catching development has also led Taobao, JD.com Suning, and other comprehensive e-commerce giants to enter the game, and layout their social-e-commerce business. Taoxiaopu (淘小铺) is a newly launched sector in Taobao targeting at Beidian and Yunji in their S2B2C businesses.
Only with strong control and operations on the supply chain, companies like Beidian and Yunji will stay competitive in the e-commerce market.