Meituan-Dianping raises bln, may hold initial public offering: analyst

Updated 2017-10-20 10:03:55 Global Times

Chinese one-stop life services platform Meituan-Dianping raised billion in a new round of fundraising, it said in a news release on Thursday, a deal that takes its valuation to billion.

In this new series of financing, the leading stakeholder was Tencent, and new investors included The Priceline Group. Other key investors included Sequoia Capital, GIC, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Trustbridge Partners, IDG Capital, and China-UAE Investment Cooperation Fund.

Meituan-Dianping and its competitor, Ele.me, the Chinese food delivery services provider backed by the world's largest e-commerce operator Alibaba Group Holding, are racing against each other to hold an IPO, Beijing Business Today reported on September 27.

"As Meituan-Dianping CEO Wang Xing said, with the new investment, the company has entered a new era," Liu Dingding, an independent technology analyst, told the Global Times on Thursday. "The company is growing into a platform, offering more services and supporting more start-ups.

"Being a life services platform, services are its core competitiveness," Chen Liteng, an analyst at the Hangzhou-based China e-Business Research Center, told the Global Times. "A compelling service experience will be critical to raise user loyalty and increase user base. If the company keeps expanding but ignores the quality of users' experience and their feedback, there will be obstacles for its sound development."

"Besides food delivery and ticketing, Meituan-Dianping's business will diversify further, such as in overseas travel," Liu predicted. "Its business domain has been dynamic in recent years. In the process of going global, Meituan-Dianping needs a strategy for talent retention. Its team has not been so stable, so it's possible the company will fine-tune the shortcomings with merger and acquisition deals.

"Meituan-Dianping's scale is large enough to prepare for an IPO, and I believe it'll be accomplished within one year," Liu noted.

The new funds will be used for investment in cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, drone delivery, analytics and innovation to lead the services industry's e-commerce transformation, the firm said.

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