After making an investment of $171 million in Chinese ERP software firm Kingdee a few days back, Alibaba’s eCommerce competitor JD (JingDong) has now led a $70 million series C round in FruitDay, a company that sells fresh fruits and vegetables across China. The other investors, Susquehanna International Group (SIG) and ClearVue also participated in the round. JD has also invested in vacation and tourism booking site, Tuniu and U.S. based wearable startup, Misfit among others.
As per a TechCrunch report, the new funding will be used to develop its infrastructure and logistics, hire new management and for general business development. As a part of the investment, FruitDay will augment their existing delivery network with JD.com’s own logistics and fulfillment network across China, to help widen its service in the country.
FruitDay imports over 80% of its inventory from overseas, and it expects to have more than 10 million users this year – up fourfold from last year. Founded in 2009, the company offers a wide variety of fruit, seafood, and other fresh foods, and 80% of its orders comes through mobile devices.
Both Alibaba and JD have been competing to sign up producers and wholesalers from across the globe to capitalize on China’s growing demand for foreign food. Earlier this year, JD had launched an initiative to bring imported food items to its tens of millions of Chinese customers, and in 2013, Alibaba’s Tmall started allowing US food companies to ship directly to Chinese customers.