SoftBank leads $ 312 million in funding for Chinese smart retail providers

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HONG KONG – Huice, which develops software-as-a-service solutions to enable smart retailing, has raised $ 312 million in a Series D round led by SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund 2.

CITIC Private Equity, an alternative asset manager in China, participated in the round with the company’s existing shareholders: GL Ventures; Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC; and legendary capital. The investment bank InvesTarget acted as exclusive financial advisor to the transaction.

Huice was founded in 2012 and started with an enterprise resource planning product called Wangdiantong to help e-commerce companies manage orders. The offer was later expanded to include automatic order checks and AI-enabled goods deliveries and offers a comprehensive range of cloud computing-based, intelligent operating products for national and cross-border e-commerce.

Beijing-based Huice serves clients such as Johnson & Johnson, the Chinese state-owned food processing group COFCO Group, the Mengniu dairy company and the duck meat snack chain Zhou Hei Ya.

So far this year, the number of new customers has increased by 104.1% annually. Among them are medical skin care manufacturer Bloomage Biotechnology, hygiene paper manufacturer C&S Paper, and coffee chain Luckin Coffee.

The Chinese online retail market has been the largest in the world for the past eight years, according to official figures from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. The country’s online retail sales, which accounted for 24.9% of total retail sales, hit 9.8 trillion yuan ($ 1.5 trillion) in 2020, up 14.8% year over year.

China’s software-as-a-service industry is growing rapidly thanks to the government’s focus on digital development and the boom in international trade, Huice founder and CEO Xiao Bin said in a statement.

“The next 10 years will be a golden decade for software as a service in China,” said Xiao. “Huice plans to continuously recruit talent to expand our technology and service team, drive technology, product and service innovation, and drive creative applications of big data, cloud computing and AI technologies through long-term, extensive investments realize. “

For the original story of DealStreetAsia, click here.

DealStreetAsia is a Singapore-based financial news site focused on private equity, venture capital and corporate investments in Asia, specifically Southeast Asia, India and Greater China. Nikkei owns a majority stake in the company.


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