(Yicai Global) May 11 -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Ctrip.Com International Ltd., China’s leading firms in the e-commerce and travel agency sectors, have injected CNY400 million (USD63 million) into restaurant booking startup Mwee.Cn bringing the firm’s total valuation to CNY4 billion.
The platform’s Shanghai-based operator Meiweibuyaodeng Information Technology Holding Co., meaning “no more waiting for gourmet” in Chinese, will use the D-round funds to work on product development, marketing and industry integration, news site 36Kr reported Chief Executive Xie Xinfa as saying, adding that it plans to open its first shared restaurant in Shanghai in mid-June.
Set up in 2013, Mwee’s previous investors include Baidu and Meituan Dianping, China’s largest on-demand services provider. The platform allows users to avoid lining up for tables, an inconvenience often encountered when dining out in China, by booking ahead at more than 60,000 eateries nationwide, while also offering menu viewing, payments, reviews and advertising functions. Mwee occupies a 90 percent market share in 200 cities with 10 million app users.
The planned Shanghai location itself will not have a kitchen and only provides tables, simple food and dining services. Users can book a table and order food directly on the app from the multiple restaurants within the surrounding 800-meter shopping district.
The delivery-based foodcourt concept will not only expand restaurants' business reach but also eliminate queueing and offer a diversified dining experience to customers with different preferences, added Xie.
Editors: Emmi Laine, William Clegg