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January 26, 2017

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Koubei gets funding of US$1.1b to compete

ALIBABA’S local services affiliate Koubei has raised US$1.1 billion from institutional investors to help it compete with Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping.

The funding was led by Silver Lake, CDH Investments, Yunfeng Capital and Primavera Capital, Koubei said.

Koubei was founded by Alibaba and Ant Financial in 2015 when both put 3 billion yuan (US$436 million) into the 50-50 joint venture. This funding marks the first money from external investors.

Koubei provides offline merchants and businesses with services such as payment, marketing, membership management, booking and financial services.

“Koubei intends to introduce more third-party service providers to provide a one-stop service platform for more merchants and to build a local service ecosystem,” said Koubei Chief Executive Officer Fan Chi.

Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping has also been providing discounts to users as domestic Internet firms are pouring resources and capital to lure consumers to use their payment services.

Koubei serves over 1.5 million businesses with an average of over 15 million transactions daily, Alibaba’s earnings report said earlier this week.


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