Netease Tech, 3/31/11
Zhou Handong, CEO of Chinese pet owner SNS website Aigou.com, has stated that a second round of funding worth USD 10 mln has been obtained from the same three investors that saw the company through its first round of funding: Softbank, IDG and Alibaba.
According to Zhou, this latest round of funding began in December last year and saw the signing of a formal agreement this week; total funding of approximately USD 10 mln was immediately transferred, roughly equivalent to the amount received in the previous round of funding. The funds are expected to be spent on expanding the company's e-commerce operations.
Aigou's current e-commerce operations exist on two fronts: Aigou Mall (shop.aigou.com) and Aigou Warehouse (dc.aigou.com). The majority of goods on each are dog care products. A B2C e-commerce platform, Aigou Mall comprises a part of Aigou's overall operations; Aigou Warehouse, a platform which sees cooperation with 2,000 vendors on Taobao, supplies Taobao store owners with supply channels and warehousing services, earning revenue by adding a margin on the products it helps source. The combined monthly revenue for Aigou Mall and Aigou Warehouse is between RMB 3-4 mln.
Currently in development, the "Aigou Share" platform will be based on Aigou's own BBS forum, and will aim to help BBS users further spread information related to their e-commerce operations. Using any dog bathing accessory as an example, 'user A' will be able to post a thread and share his user experience or evaluation of the product, in return for which he will receive a 1-3% rebate on the product (or, Aigou Mall rebate points). If 'user B' clicks on a BBS thread from 'user A' and proceeds to Aigou Mall to make a purchase of the product in question, 'user A' stands to earn a rebate of between 3-10% for the same product.
Earlier rumors claimed that Aigou and new pet owner SNS Goumin.com both had plans to IPO on a US exchange next year, a possibility which Zhou has denied, claiming that the company remains too small for talk of listing to begin. Aigou currently has 4 mln registered users, 20% of whom are active users.
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Aigou to Raise USD 30 Mln Funding in 2010, Focus on E-Commerce" MD 10/15/09 issue.