Chinese group-purchasing website Lashou.com has closed on a whopping $110 million in Series C financing. Milestone Capital led the round, which included participation from Richemont’s affiliates Reinet Fund SCA FIS, Remgro Limited, and previous investors GSR Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Tenaya Capital. Since its inception in March 2010, Lashou.com has raised a total of $166 million in venture capital.
Lashou.com, the largest group-purchasing website in China, today announced the completion of a series C financing of $110 million. Led by Milestone Capital, the round also included Richemont’s affiliates Reinet Fund SCA FIS, Remgro Limited, and previous investors GSR Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Tenaya Capital.
“This round of financing will be used for the establishment and market expansion of call centers, same city logistics, as well as Lashou Experience Shops,” said Bo Wu, the founder and CEO of Lashou.com. “The group-purchasing market of China has huge potential. Because Lashou.com has a very healthy business model, we are attracting the attention of many well-known investment institutions both in China and abroad. The success of the financing will allow for the rapid development of Lashou.com as well as the group-purchasing industry in the future,” Bo Wu added.
With this financing, Lashou.com has received the most capital of any company in the group-purchasing industry in China. With the previous two rounds of financing, and since its inception in March 2010, Lashou.com has raised a total of $166M in venture capital.
The core of Lashou.com’s success is their e-commerce model which is focused on the word “service.” Bo Wu designated 2011 to be the year in which Lashou.com increases customer satisfaction levels as well as customer experiences. In the first quarter of 2011, Lashou.com made numerous moves to increase customer experiences. It launched “Lunch Killer Deals by the Seconds” for white collar customers and 318 seat call centers were established for the purpose of increasing interactions among users. This is the same city logistic system that allows deliveries to be made as fast as 18 minutes, which improves the customer experience. In 2011, Lashou Experience Shops are also launching.
“The group-purchasing business model combines the dual characteristics of e-commerce and the retail industry. It is an explosive force in China and around the world. As the largest company specializing in providing group-purchase related services in China, Lashou.com has already had a wide base of consumers and businesses, which are accumulating valuable operating experiences. We believe that Lashou.com will continue to lead the healthy development of the group-purchasing market in China, providing high quality services for both consumers and businesses,” said investors at Milestone Capital and Richemont Group.
“As the Series A lead investor of Lashou.com, we are excited by the company’s continued market traction and success. The management has managed to emerge as the clear leader in a crowded market by focusing on providing value to both consumers and merchants,” said Richard Lim, Managing Director of GSR Ventures.
The legal counselors for this financing are U.S.-based Latham & Watkins and Fangda Partners of China.
On March 18, 2010, Bo Wu, CEO of Lashou.com, created the group-purchasing model at “Time International” in Beijing where Lashou.com was formally launched. Within a year, Lashou.com has grown to be the largest group-purchasing website in China, and has ranked first in the market in terms of web site traffic, customer support, sales, and company size. It also creatively launched many innovative products such as “Many Groups Per Day,” “Lunch Killer Deals by the Seconds,” and “Hotel Channels.” For more information go to: www.lashou.com.
About Bo Wu, Founder and CEO of Lashou.com
Bo Wu, Founder and CEO of Lashou.com, is a pioneer of Internet technology and business. With a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University and a master’s degree in computer science from Western Michigan University in the United States, he founded and acted as the CEO for EnReach Technology Inc. in the US in 1997. In 2008, Shanghai EnReach was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s Main Board through reverse merger. In 1999, he founded Focus.cn, a large comprehensive portal site in China, and was the chairman of the company. The website was purchased by Sohu Inc. in the beginning of 2004.
Founded in 2002, Milestone Capital is a leading China-focused private equity firm, investing in and supporting entrepreneurs in China’s high-growth industries. Several of Milestone Capital’s portfolio companies have listed on overseas stock exchanges, including Focus Media (NASDAQ: FMCN), VisionChina Media (NASDAQ: VISN), Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) and GCL-Poly Energy (HKSE: 3800). See www.mcmchina.com
About Reinet, Remgro, and Richemont
Reinet Fund SCA FIS and Remgro Limited are investment companies based in Luxembourg and in Stellenbosch, South Africa, respectively. Both companies are affiliated with Compagnie Financière Richemont SA. All three companies operate under the chairmanship of Mr. Johann P. Rupert.
Reinet Fund is an investment fund with a portfolio of investments geared to long-term wealth preservation. Its principal investment is a 4.16% shareholding in British American Tobacco plc. Its parent company, Reinet Investments, is quoted on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of EUR 2.2 billion approximately. See www.Reinet.com.
Remgro is a diversified investment holding company with interests in many areas including banking and financial services, industrial and consumer products, medical services, mining and petroleum products, media and technology. Major investee companies include the First Rand group, Air Products South Africa, Unilever South Africa Holdings, Medi Clinic, Total South Africa and TSB Sugar. Remgro is listed on JSE, the Johannesburg stock exchange and has a market capitalization of approximately $ 8 billion. See www.remgro.com.
Operating worldwide, Richemont owns a portfolio of leading international brands or ‘Maisons,’ which are managed independently of one another. These include: Jewellery Maisons, being Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels; Specialist watchmakers, being Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, IWC, Baume & Mercier, Vacheron Constantin, Officine Panerai, A. Lange & Söhne and Roger Dubuis; and Montblanc, the Writing Instruments Maison. The Fashion and Accessories Maisons include Alfred Dunhill, Lancel, Chloé and Azzedine Alaïa. In addition, Richemont has recently acquired Net-à-Porter, the premier online luxury fashion retailer. Richemont is listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization of CHF 27.2 billion. See www.richemont.com.
About GSR Ventures
GSR Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm focused on building world class technology companies in China. The firm invests primarily in Internet, wireless, systems and components and clean technology. GSR’s value-driver companies include AdChina, LaShou.com, Lattice Power, NetQin, Qunar and SMIT. The partnership has a unique combination of strong operating experience, extensive international investment expertise, and deep networks in Silicon Valley and China. Founded in 2004, GSR has more than $700M under management and offices in Beijing and Silicon Valley. For more information, please visit www.gsrventures.com.
Norwest Venture Partners
Norwest Venture Partners is a global venture and growth equity investment firm that manages more than $3.7 billion in capital. It has offices in Palo Alto, CA, Mumbai and Bengaluru, India, and Herzelia, Israel. The partnership makes early to late stage venture and growth equity investments in U.S. and global companies across a wide range of sectors, including IT, business and financial services.
Tenaya Capital is a leading venture capital firm with offices in Menlo Park, Calif., and Boston. Founded in 1995 as Lehman Brothers Venture Partners, Tenaya became an independent company in 2009. Tenaya, which has raised a total of five funds representing over $1 billion of committed capital, invests in a wide range of high-growth technology companies in software, the Internet, communications, semiconductors, electronics and clean technology.