Missfresh partner Xiao-hui Xu announced at the Third A20 New Agricultural Festival on December 24 that Missfresh would complete a new round of financing next week. The capital obtained will be used for unmanned convenience sales. In June, Missfresh opened a new container location in Beijing. It comprises three parts: a room temperature shelf, a freezer and a cold-storage refrigerator. The location dispenses yogurt, fruit, snacks and other goods. Shoppers can use WeChat to buy goods, which is similar to goods are sold at vending machines in the subway.
It is also the third time that Missfresh has sought financing this year. Founded in November 2014, Missfresh is fresh online-to-offline retailer. It has completed five rounds of financing so far. The latest round is the C+ round, which was completed in March, with a total amount of $230 million. Missfresh announced in July that it had achieved profitability in first-tier cities, and the revenue reached 280 million yuan in July. Later, Missfresh started to establish a cold-chain logistics system featuring an “urban sorting center and community front storehouse.” Missfresh could deliver goods within two hours.
For Missfresh, which previously only engaged in e-commerce, the purchase is a physical landing. The new shop can satisfy consumption demand within 30 meters. In order to cover these scenarios and replenish its stock at any time, Missfresh will rent unsatisfactory or idle commercial space for community distribution centers that optimize cost.
Public information shows Missfresh has acquired 8,000 high quality locations in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and five other cities, and it plans to quickly open another 100,000.
After the financing announcement, Xiao-hui Xu said there is a pattern in unmanned convenience shelves. “More smart boxes for unmanned retail may will appear in January,” Xu said.
“In the future, the two giants of the unmanned convenience shelves will be Missfresh and Xingbianli,” an unnamed insider said. Xingbianli, also founded in June, has raised a total financing of nearly 500 million yuan.
While popular with investors, unmanned convenience shelves and containers must compete with traditional convenience stores and fruit stands. In terms of product categories, convenience stores on the first floor of buildings tend to have more variety. Some even offer delivery services within 500 meters. If the scope expands to 3km from the office, Baiguoyuan, Yonghui, Fresh Hema and other physical stores will also be competing. It remains to be seen whether it will be easy for the new Missfresh and Xingbianli to gain a firm foothold in the long run.
Attached: Missfresh’s financing
December 2014: $5 million angel investment from GX Capital.
May 2015: $10 million A round financing led by Tencent and followed by GX Capital.
November 2015: 200 million yuan B round financing led by Tencent and followed by ZSVC.
January 2017: $100 million C round financing led by Lenovo venture capital and capital management fund of ZSVC, and followed by Tencent, KTB, Grand Flight and China Growth Capital.
March 2017: 230 million yuan C+ round financing led by Tiger Global and Genesis Capital.