An obscure Chinese e-commerce site that sells sex toys has caused quite a shock in the industry by securing the biggest funding round for a highly specialist e-tailer in the country this year. AiLu is said to have wrapped up RMB 300 million (US$47.4 million) in series A funding from Shenzhen Capital and New Margin Ventures.
The news comes from the August venture capital report by Coinsay, as spotted by Chinese finance site Ebrun. Beijing-based AiLu – see its site here – sells all kinds of erotic toys, sex dolls, and revealing underwear – a product vertical in which its main local rival is Gdian. The company hasn’t commented publicly on its major funding round, so it’s not clear how the business will spend its new capital.
Hopefully some of that money will be spent on web design, as the site right now has the most eye-stabbingly awful user interface that we’ve even seen on an e-commerce site. Think of a Geocities site in 1999, and you’re close.
The last major round by a Chinese specialist e-commerce site was just last month when the wine e-tailer Jiuxian secured $32 million in series C funding.
[Source: Ebrun – article in Chinese]