Miyabaobei, a Chinese site that sells formula, clothes, and other items for babies and toddlers, has raised a $60 million Series C round from H Capital, with participation from returning investors Sequoia Capital and ZhenFund. Along with its previous rounds, including a $20 million Series C led by Sequoia in July, this brings the startup’s total funding so far to $100 million.
The company, whose name translates as “honey bud baby,” started in 2011 as a storefront on Taobao, Alibaba’s B2C marketplace. By 2013, Miyabaobei was making enough in sales to launch its own website, as well as mobile e-commerce apps, which it says now account for 75 percent of its purchases. In October, Miyabaobei claims its gross merchandise volume (GMV) was over 100 million RMB, with returning customers accounting for 70 percent of sales.
One of the reasons for Miyabaobei’s success is increased demand by parents for imported baby formula, toys, and other products, which was triggered in large part by a series of food safety scandals in China, including sales of melamine-tainted milk in 2008. A spokesperson says Miyaobaobei’s best-selling brands include Merries, Moony, Aptamil, Nutrilon, Hipp, Mellin, and Earth’s Best.
In general, imported and specialty food products is a fast-growing vertical for Chinese e-commerce companies, with many offering items on sites like Taobao or its rival JD.com.
Miyabaobei says its main competitor in China are currently sites like Ve.cn, which also operates its own e-commerce site instead of selling on a marketplace, but Ve.cn is much smaller.
Like many other Chinese e-commerce companies, Miyabaobei plans to focus on its domestic market instead of expanding abroad. Over the next two months, the company will triple the number of brands on its platform. In a statement, Miyabaobei founder Liu Nan says that the company’s Series C will be used to improve its global supply chain and the user experience of its site and apps.