(Yicai Global) April 12 -- Chinese social e-commerce platform Pinduoduo.com, developed by Shanghai Mengxun Information Technology Co., has completed a new funding round of about USD3 billion led by tech titan Tencent Holdings Ltd., valuing the e-commerce platform at USD15 billion, internet tech information outlet 36Kr reported.
Formed in 2015, Pinduoduo is a third-party social e-commerce platform that features group buying. Users can shop online cheaper via mass purchases together with friends, families or neighbors. The platform's gross merchandise volume last year exceeded CNY100 billion (USD15.92 billion), whereas Taobao, which is owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., only achieved this figurefive years after its establishment, 36Kr said.
Pinduoduo has a close relationship with Tencent. At its inception, it started its business by opening a public account on Tencent's popular social messaging app WeChat and has maintained close cooperation ever since. Pingduoduo secured USD110 million in Series B funding round in 2016, also led by Tencent.
Tencent and Alibaba are aggressively competing in new retail business. Tencent wants to build WeChat into an e-commerce ecological platform, bringing together partners like Pingduoduo through public accounts and mini programs to challenge Alibaba's main business, 36Kr reported. WeChat mini-programs are sub-applications that offer advanced features such as e-commerce, task management and coupon functions.