Oriental Morning Post, 4/27/11
Zhang Tao, CEO of online ratings and social bookmarking site Dianping, recently said that the site will invest RMB 300 mln into market promotions for its group buy operations in 2011.
Regarding the widespread proliferation in group buy sites in China this year, Zhang said that he foresees major reshuffling within the group buy sector in 2012, and 2-3 remaining group buy sites once the market settles down. Zhang said the key to success in group buy operations lies in being able to satisfy local businesses' marketing needs and in having strong sales teams on the ground.
Zhang pointed out that while the company originally intended to go public this year, private funding efforts this year have proven successful. Zhang said that once the group buy market becomes more stable and more viable products for mobile operations become available, Dianping will then consider its plans to IPO. "Optimistically, Dianping could list publicly as soon as the end of next year. Under the current circumstances, it will probably take 1-2 more years, so 2013, for an IPO."
Dianping became profitable in 2008 and projects that revenue this year will reach RMB 1 bln. According to Zhang, "There's even potential for 200% growth in the coming year." Dianping saw USD 10 mln in revenue in 2009 and USD 30 mln in 2010. Dianping operations currently serve 2,000 cities across the country and the site now works with more than 100 businesses. Dianping sees more than 30 mln active users of the site each month and has a total monthly average of more than 400 mln visitors.
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Dianping Obtains USD 100 Mln in VC Funding" MD 4/26/11 issue.