It was only three months ago that 360Buy, China’s second-largest online store, wrapped up $400 million in funding. Today 360Buy has confirmed an even bigger injection of capital with a fifth round of funding worth $700 million. [UPDATED: The April 2011 round turns out to have been the largest ever, worth $1.5 billion in total, with $500 million of that from Russian investors, DST; the headline and first paragraph have been amended to reflect this].
The massive new round saw participation once again from Ontario Teachers’ Retirement Fund (OTPP) along with new input from Riyadh-based Kingdom Holdings, which was founded by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud.
360Buy’s previous round effectively valued the store at $7.25 billion, but there’s no indication of its current valuation.
360Buy told Chinese media that the newest financing will be used to bolster day-to-day operations, as well as to build up its fledgling logistics service.
CEO and founder Liu Qiangdong has indicated in the past that 2013 was likely a good time for an IPO, but it’s not clear if the new investment would delay that timeline.
China’s e-commerce sector is marked by a ferocious burn rate for companies, as well as vicious price wars. 360Buy has diversified into a few areas where monetizing is a bit simpler in the past few months, such as by shipping some products to overseas customers, and launching an online music store within China.
(Source: iHeiMa – article in Chinese)