GGV, Sequoia, BlueRun Back Chinese Shopping Engine Meilishuo

A group of Silicon Valley VCs are betting that homegrown shopping networks will keep on growing in China.

GGV Capital, Sequoia Capital, BlueRun Ventures and Zero2IPO recently, and quietly, invested a Series C round in Meilishuo, which operates a Chinese shopping social network and microblog for women. As part of the funding, Ray Hu, vice president of GGV, has joined the company board.

The amount of the Series C round was undisclosed. Meilishuo, which launched in November 2009, had raised $10 million in its previous two rounds, according to news reports in China.

Many social shopping sites are raising VC backing and are quickly taking off in China, thanks in large part to the growing mobile usage in the country.

Since the launch of its mobile app in April, Meilishuo has reached 1.5 million users with 250,000 active daily users, according to GGV.  The iPhone app was downloaded 500,000 times in the 10 days following its launch. Another example of a similar social network in China is YY (another GGV investment), which has grown largely around gamers, who use the site to chat on Skype-like features.

“I don’t see one big dominant player taking over in China,” GGV Partner Jeff Richards told me. “There are many companies that are each going after certain segments of the population in China, and they’re all gaining traction on multiple platforms, attracting millions of users.”

Richards says that he expects GGV, which invests in China and the United States, to back more Chinese shopping sites like Meilishuo since “ecommerce is a monstrous market in China, where we’ve been for a decade. The potential there remains huge.”

(Photo: Screenshot of Meilishuo.com)

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