Be it delivering electronics or picking up laundry, there’s just something about delivery startups that attracts hundreds of millions of dollars from Chinese investors. The latest startup to benefit from this is Ele.me, which just announced that it has secured $630 million in a series F funding round that was led by. CITIC Capital. Ele.me is a Shanghai-based company that, you guessed it, delivers stuff, specifically meals, and has raised a total of $1.09 billion in funding since it was founded back in 2009.
China’s biggest meal delivery startup, Ele.me (which means “Are you hungry?”), today revealed that it has secured US$630 million in series F funding. The blockbuster investment was led by CITIC Capital and supermarket chain Hualian, reports the Tencent Tech blog. Previous investors Tencent, JD, and Sequoia Capital also threw in some of the cash. The extra money allows Ele.me – whose blue-uniformed deliverymen on their electric scooters are fast becoming a fixture of major Chinese cities – to keep up the pace as web giants Alibaba and Baidu seek to catch up to local, on-demand web services such as meal delivery. Ele.me, which started up in 2009 in Shanghai, has now raised a total of US$1.09 billion in VC funding, making it China’s third most-funded startup. Hualian contributed US$90 million of the funding and will form a partnership with Ele.me based around deliveries from its supermarkets across the country, including its higher-end BHG Market Place stores – but it’s not yet clear if that involves just hot meals sold at some of the stores or products from off the shelf.