Chinese startup Meicai, which helps farmers sell vegetables to restaurants, has been valued at $2.8bn after raising $450m in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management, China Media Capital and Genesis Capital.
Founded only four years ago, Meicai, meaning “beautiful vegetable,” is now looking to expand in the costly fresh foods market.
Based in Beijing, the company started out with a goal to source vegetables for around 10 million small and medium restaurants in China. It allows owners to order specialities like bok choy and eggplant directly from farms simply by using an app on their smartphone.
Mecai is the latest player in the industry aiming to shake up conventional retail operations by cutting out middlemen in the food distribution chain.
The investment Mecai received is a prime example of the high valuations Chinese companies are fetching in a market saturated with capital. Last year, half of the world’s ten biggest deals were with companies based in the Asian nation and a total of $65bn was injected into ventures in greater China according to researcher Preqin.
Ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing had the largest round of funding ever for a technology company with $5.5bn from investors.
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