Nov 17, 2014 - Chinese overseas e-shopping site Metao received US$30 million in its B round of financing this month from investors including Vertex Venture Holdings, Morningside Group, Greenwoods Investment and round A investor Matrix Partners China.
Metao CEO Wenbin Xie says that the funds from this financing round would be used for recruitment, advertising, marketing, expanding the company’s market share, as well as venturing into shipping and warehouse operations.
Metao went online on May 6th this year, officially changing its name from CN Haitao in July, transitioning from an overseas commission purchasing service to a fully independent foreign brands dealer. Mr Xie said the company’s next target was to become the leading brand in vertically integrated e-shopping site for overseas products within two years.
“Since we went online, Metao has handled over 200,000 deliveries and has almost 10 million regular mobile users, achieving monthly sales of RMB 10 million,” Mr Xie said. ”Not long ago we formed a direct partnership with the Guangzhou free trade zone to shorten the delivery time and improve our customer experience.”
Currently, there are B2C platforms and independent dealership B2C supply models for international e-commerce. Alibaba’s Tmall International and yMatou were pioneers of the former model and Metao is an example of the latter.
Mr Xie said he chose to operate in the independent dealership model because “Startups have limited traffic so it was impossible for us to support a platform with a large number of distribution channels”. Another reason is that as a localized independent e-commerce dealer, it can ensure product authenticity and is able to consolidate the customer base by offering lower prices.
“With Haitao we only had to focus on the supply chain and services in the buyer–to-customer process, but Metao’s import e-commerce requires more contact with users to understand their needs and localize the services,” he said.(Translation by David)