Chinese e-commerce startup Pinduoduo is seeking US$1 billion in a US IPO, going head to head with industry giants such as Alibaba.
The company’s business model, in which users recruit friends via social media to enjoy group-discount offers direct from manufacturers, has seen its transaction volumes reach 141.2 billion yuan (US$21.3 billion) in 2017, tripling the company’s revenue. It was founded by ex-Google engineer Colin Huang and is backed by Tencent and Sequoia Capital, among others.
Pinduoduo raised more than US$1 billion in its last fundraising round in April, against a valuation of around US$15 billion. Its sales have been strongly supported by its large user base in lower-tier Chinese cities. The site’s daily active users reached 55.9 million last month, more than 20 million more than the popular JD e-commerce platform.