Feed me fast
Start-up watch: Is $350 million enough to feed China’s hungry food-delivery market? That’s how much start-up Ele.me has picked up in it is latest funding round from the likes of Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners China, Tencent and China-based group-buying outfit Dianping. Ele.me’s name translates as ‘Hungry Now?’ and the company offers online and mobile booking and delivery services in over 200 Chinese cities, focussing on feeding the student population. It was able to boast RMB110 million worth of orders last year, most of them made via Ele.me’s mobile apps.
This move may see Ele.me’s fast food service bundled into both Tencent’s and Dianping platforms, which would be a huge leg-up for the start-up. Online giants Alibaba and Baidu already have their fingers in the food delivery pie, with Alibaba onboard with Meituan, and Baidu owning a majority stake in Nuomi.