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Alibaba, Ant Fin invest US$1.25b in China online food-delivery firm Ele.me

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 18:27

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Chinese online food-delivery service company Ele.me has raised US$1.25 billion from Alibaba Group Holding and its Internet finance arm Ant Financial, Ele.me and Alibaba said in separate statements on Wednesday.

[BEIJING] Chinese online food-delivery service company Ele.me has raised US$1.25 billion from Alibaba Group Holding and its Internet finance arm Ant Financial, Ele.me and Alibaba said in separate statements on Wednesday.

Alibaba has invested US$900 million while Ant Financial has invested US$350 million, Ele.me said in a statement on its official Weibo microblog. Alibaba confirmed the investment in an emailed statement to Reuters.

The investments will help bolster Ele.me's position in a fiercely competitive online food delivery market, where it faces deep-pocketed rivals including Baidu Inc, Meituan-Dianping and Alibaba's own platform Koubei.

Neither Ele.me nor Alibaba gave further details on the deal or said what stakes Alibaba and Ant Financial would receive.

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Leading business weekly Caixin reported in December that Alibaba had agreed to invest US$1.25 billion in the food-delivery firm for a 27.7 per cent stake.

Ele.me, which roughly translates as 'Hungry Now?', is part of a trend in China for what is known as online-to-offline (O2O) services. These include taxi hailing and restaurant review apps that link smartphone users with offline businesses.

Broader-focused Meituan-Dianping said in January it had raised over US$3.3 billion from investors including Alibaba-rival Tencent Holdings Ltd, an amount that valued the firm at more than US$18 billion.

REUTERS

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