B5M said it raised $7.1 million in Series A investment led by Oak Investment Partners and Giosis Holdings. The Chinese social shopping search engine will use the money to develop its website and for marketing. Allan Kwan and Youngbae Ku will join the board.
CHINESE SOCIAL SHOPPING SEARCH ENGINE B5M SECURES $7.1 MILLION SERIES A FINANCING ROUND LED BY OAK INVESTMENT PARTNERS AND GIOSIS HOLDINGS
Investment will be Used for B5M Website Development, Marketing and Ongoing Innovation
Shanghai and Greenwich, Conn. – Feb 23, 2012 – B5M, a next-generation social shopping search engine in China, today announced a $7.1 million Series A investment round led by Oak Investment Partners and Giosis Holdings. B5M will use the funds for website development, marketing and ongoing innovation. Allan Kwan, an industry veteran who led Yahoo! search in Asia Pacific, and Youngbae Ku, a successful entrepreneur who founded GMarket, which was acquired by eBay, will join B5M’s board of directors representing Oak Investment Partners and Giosis Holdings, respectively.
B5M, which means “help me buy” in Chinese, is designed to help Chinese consumers make informed purchasing decisions. It combines product and shopping data with community features to promote social shopping decisions with comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased search results. Over the past four years the company assembled a local team in China and launched a beta site that has indexed over 30 million business-to-consumer products, product reviews, and shopping-related web articles. The company was founded by Yeogirl Yun, a serial entrepreneur who founded mySimon.com, Wisenut.com, and Become.com, which are general search or comparison shopping engines in the U.S., Japan, and Republic of Korea.
“We have set out to build state-of-the-art search and data mining technologies to give Chinese consumers the power to choose the best new or used product or group-buying deal from over 200 business-to-consumer websites and 100 group-buying sites,” said Yeogirl Yun, founder and CEO of B5M. “With this new capital and on-the-ground support from Allan and Youngbae, we can take B5Mto the next level to provide unparalleled quality of service and user experience.”
“Seldom do we have the unique opportunity to partner with two successful entrepreneurs. We are delighted to work with serial-entrepreneur Yeogirl Yun and to co-invest with Young Bae Ku, formerly the CEO and founder of Gmarket, an early e-commerce leader and Oak portfolio company,” said Ifty Ahmed, a general partner for Oak Investment Partners who specializes in the internet and new media sector. “The Chinese e-commerce market poses unique opportunities and challenges. The collaboration between Giosis and B5M, backed by the experience of these two entrepreneurs and steady guidance of our China-based advisor, Allan Kwan, will be instrumental in creating a powerful player in the fastest growing e-commerce market in the world.”
B5M, founded in 2007, is the most comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased Chinese social shopping search engine with tens of millions of business-to-consumer products, product and merchant reviews, group-buy deals, used products, and shopping-related web articles with innovative shopping community features to help Chinese consumers make informed purchasing decisions. B5M, headquartered in Shanghai, is a technology-driven company that also provides e-commerce search and recommendation engines to e-commerce sites for better user experience and higher conversions, and syndicates its social shopping search engine to third-party websites for strong traffic monetization.
About Oak Investment Partners
Oak Investment Partners is a multistage venture capital firm and a lead investor in the next generation of enduring growth companies. Since 1978 the firm has invested $9 billion in nearly 500 companies around the world, earning the trust of entrepreneurs with a senior team that delivers steady guidance, deep domain expertise and a consistent investment philosophy. Its current portfolio includes Chamate, Demand Media (NYSE: DMD), Giosis Gmarket, KAYAK Software, Lianlian Pay and Wonga. Oak Investment Partners is also known for its historical investments in aQuantive, Allyes Information Technology, AthenaHealth, Digital Media Group, HuffingtonPost, Inktomi and TeleAtlas.