Temasek Invests in 7th Round for Chinese Online Retailer Vancl

Vancl Website Feb 2014

Credit: Vancl Website Screenshot – Feb 2014

Online consumer retailers have attracted sovereign wealth fund capital. On December 31, 2013, Qatar Holding, a sovereign wealth enterprise of the Qatar Investment Authority, acquired a stake in Vente-Privée, a European online company selling discounted branded products. In Asia, Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, along with Ceyuan Ventures, IDG Capital Partners and SAIF Partners invested US$ 100 million in Chinese Online Retailer Vancl in February. This was the seventh investment round for Vancl.

Beijing-based Vancl sells branded consumer products under its own name. The online retailer sells directly to consumers. The company was founded in 2007 by entrepreneur Chen Nian, initially offering primarily low-cost t-shirts and menswear online. Nian founded Joyo, a business-to-consumer retailer that Amazon bought for US$ 75 million.

Initially in 2010, Vancl raised US$ 140 million from a combination of venture capital and angel money. In July 2011, Vancl raised US$ 230 million in a Series F round from CITIC PE, Temasek Holdings, IDG Capital Partners, Hotung Venture Group and Tiger Global Management. At this time, Vancl had 10 million paying customers; however, Vancl started to run into cash flow issues. In 2011, the online retailer had estimated losses of 600 million yuan. Over time, they had trouble paying their suppliers. In November 2013, Vancl raised US$ 100 million in another tranche.

According to Nian in Chinese media news reports, Vancl wants to eventually have an initial public offering.

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