As the world is observing an O2O shift (online-to-offline) with more and more people relying on smartphones for heir daily needs, it doesn’t come as a shocker that companies are investing dollars of worth of funding in start-ups.
China based E-commerce firm, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is being rumored to have invested a bomb in online food delivery enterprise Ele.me. The Chinese magnate will be backing up Ele.me with a massive $1.25B funding.
Following its billion-dollar investment Alibaba has earned itself a 27.7% stake in Ele.me, becoming its biggest shareholder.
Ele.me. which is Mandarin for ‘hungry now?’ was set up in 2008. The company has already stacked up a massive $1.09B as of date.
Interestingly enough, the existing investors include names that have till now been known as ‘rivals’ to Alibaba – Tencent Holdings Ltd and JD.com Inc. Other funding parties are CITIC Private Equity, Dianping and Sequoia Capital.
The BAT (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) has been an active cluster in the funding sphere.
Alibaba has in the past invested in Meituan, a website specializing in localized consumer services, offering a choice of local restaurants, bars etc.
Baidu on the other end holds a majority stake in another O2O firm Nuomi and Tencent has assimilated several O2O firms’ services within its messaging app, WeChat.
Additionally, in October 2015, O2O start ups Meituan and Dianping – backed by Alibaba and Tencent respectively – came together to be identified as the country’s biggest single entity.