Chinese search engine company Baidu has invested US$20m in local online food retailer Womai as part of a US$200m funding round.
A subsidiary of Cofco, Womai’s funding round is pegged to be a record-breaker for China’s online food retail industry, with Womai considering a public float in 2017, according to China Daily.
“Backed by Cofco, Womai can access a wide range of agricultural products at low prices, which can help Baidu further expand its online-to-offline catering business,” Lu Zhenwang, CEO of Shanghai-based Wanqing Consultancy told the newsite. “Fresh produce is gaining popularity with consumers. Once internet firms manage to turn regular buyers of fresh produce into active users of their websites, they can sell these consumers other more expensive items.”
Chinese life insurance giant Taikang Life Insurance has also invested in Womai.