Pinduoduo, Alibaba’s competitor in China’s $1 trillion e-commerce market, has reported a $1.1 Billion raise in a private share placement, a deal which was financed by the e-commerce platform’s long-term investors. The transaction is expected to be closed in early April 2020.
The new deal will see the investors acquire the newly created Class A ordinary shares of the company, worth 2.8% of the total shares. The investment will “enable its further expansion and allow it to capture additional opportunities during the times of uncertainty,” the company says. Although the majority of businesses around the world are reporting astronomical losses, an investment of this magnitude is certainly a piece of welcome news for the platform, given it comes amid a decrease in the growth of the company in the previous quarter.
“Pinduoduo surpassed 1 trillion yuan in annual gross merchandise value (GMV) in less than five years, and we are confident that we will see robust growth beyond our current 585 million user base,” David Liu, VP of Strategy at Pinduoduo, said in a statement.
“The extra funding gives us the strategic flexibility to capture opportunities to further benefit our users, as we bring interactive experiences, such as our new live-streaming features, and a wider variety of value-for-money products to them,” he added.
Founded in 2015, Pinduoduo has seen exponential growth in stature, owing to certain unique functionalities that make it stand distinctively in the crowded Chinese e-commerce market dominated by Alibaba and JD. Pinduoduo allows its users to play virtual games like growing a farm that users can use to redeem real fruits and vegetables. There is also a feature of “group shopping” that allows users to invite friends and families to form groups to buy the products. The larger the group, the bigger the discount. It also runs an entrepreneur program for people selling via the platform to help them be better placed with respect to their business.
Although the number of users has substantially increased, reaching 200 Million with gross merchandise value exceeding 100 Billion yuan by 2018, the promotional activities have also taken a toll on the revenue side of the business. In Q4 2019, Pinduoduo had reported a loss of about $250 million on revenue of $1.5 billion. The current market cap stands at $42.441 Billion.