Beijing-based online-to-offline grocery retailer Bunnymaicai (Xiaotu Maicai in Chinese) has scored USD 10 million in a Series A round led by Country Garden Venture Capital, ZWC Partners, and joined by Joy Capital, 36Kr reported on Monday.
Founded in 2019 in Beijing, Bunnymaicai allows residents in Wuxi, Jiangsu to buy vegetables, fruit, meat, seafood, and bread from about 100 brick-and-mortar stores or on its WeChat mini program and app. Its service is not currently available in other cities.
The company sources most of its products directly from farms and promises 30 minutes delivery times for online buyers, according to its website.
The company will use the new funds to expand its store network first in Wuxi and later to other cities in East China, upgrade its supply chain, and improve its retail software system.
Think tank Qianzhan said in June that China’s fresh food retailing industry has exceeded RMB 5 trillion (USD 733 billion) in 2019, predicting that sales via online channels should have surpassed RMB 288 (USD 42 billion) last year, accounting for less than 6% of the total. However, a slate of new businesses have emerged to bring more of the industry online.
JD.com (NASDAQ: JD) launched online platform JD Daojia in 2015, allowing consumers to order fresh food from various supermarkets, including Walmart, and get delivery within an hour.
JD Daojia was spun off in 2016 to be acquired by Dada Nexus (NASDAQ: DADA), which went public in May this year in the US after raising USD 320 million in its Nasdaq initial public offering.
Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) unveiled the Hema grocery retail chain in 2016, allowing individuals to shop in its self-operated physical stores, dine in, or order online and wait for delivery. By March 31 Alibaba had 207 self-operated Hema stores located primarily in large Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.
There are also various startups exploring this sector, such as MissFresh, which features small front-end warehouses to enable quick delivery, group-buying platform Nice Tuan, and Yipien Fresh, which runs roughly 900 neighborhood supermarkets in 17 cities in China.