ClearVue Partners, a Shanghai-based private equity firm focused on consumer goods has led a RMB200 million (about US$30 million) Series B round in I Believe, a Chinese convenience store operator.
According to local Chinese media, several undisclosed US-based private equity also participated in the round.
This latest round follows a RMB110 million (about US$15 million) round from about a year ago by ClearVue as well.
Founded in 2012 and based in the Henan province, I Believe is an e-commerce, logistics and convenience store franchise operator. The startup operates over 1,500 stores in ten provinces around China, including Henan, Beijing, and Tianjin among some.
However, unlike traditional convenience stores, I Belive sources goods directly from manufacturers and provides a platform for online order placements, which reduces the layer of purchases from whole-sellers.
With these operations, the company claims that its e-commerce platform recorded a gross merchandise value of RMB890 million (about US$129 million) in 2015.
Moving forward, I Believe also agreed to partner with Wangfujing Group Co., Ltd, a Beijing-based retailing group, to establish a convenience store company in Beijing.
With the latest capital, I Believe plans to invest RMB50 million (about US$7 million) to enhance its platform and open up a network of 300 new stores in Beijing this year.
By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork