Meituan-Dianping nets US$4b in its latest fund-raising exercise, valuing company at US$30b

The proceeds will be used to expand in artificial intelligence and unmanned delivery sectors

China’s leading lifestyle services and online to offline services provider Meituan-Dianping said it has netted US$4 billion in its latest fund-raising exercise, valuing the company at US$30 billion.

Tencent led the new investment round which included online travel service group Priceline Group as a new strategic investor as well as other investors such as Sequoia Capital, GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Trustbridget Partners, Tiger Global Management, Coatue Management and China-UAE Investment Cooperation Fund, according to a joint statement today.

The proceeds will be used to expand in new technological fields including artificial intelligence and unmanned delivery as the company seeks to upgrade modern service industries.

“Meituan-Dianping is leading a major transformation of China’s traditional services industry by creating a powerful new e-commerce ecosystem that connects with consumers’ daily lifestyle services,” Wang Xing, CEO of Meituan-Dianping, said in a statement, adding that the company hopes "to fully leverage AI-based and analytics-driven technology, for the benefit of our consumers and merchant partners.”

Meituan-Dianping is also a new strategic partner with Agoda.com, the Priceline Group’s hotel booking site in Asia following Priceline’s investment in the company.

“Our commercial relationship between Agoda.com and Meituan-Dianping will help each company benefit from the other’s expertise and capitalize on the opportunities presented by China’s exceptionally large travel market,” said Todd Henrich, global head of corporate development of the Priceline Group.

The latest Connected Life study by Kantar TNS found out that as high as 80 percent of those who have purchased plane tickets said they would book flights through online travel agencies, and 74 percent booking rooms would prefer online channels.

Meituan.com and Dianping.com merged in late 2015 and now the merged entity has more than 280 million active consumers and over 5 million merchants across the country.

Alibaba and JD.com are also investing heavily to expand their online-to-offline services as consumers are relying on Internet services to purchase products and services as well as compare merchandise offered by online vendors and offline service providers. Movie ticketing, restaurant and hotel booking and on-demand food delivery have been booming in recent years because of the popularity mobile payment services. 



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