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Staff and visitors at the MissFresh office in Beijing, China, on May 9, 2018. Photo: Bloomberg

Tencent-backed MissFresh is said to weigh US$500 million US IPO

  • MissFresh is working with advisers for IPO preparations, said sources
  • The company could raise as much as US$1 billion in offering

Beijing MissFresh Ecommerce Co, an online grocery delivery start-up, is considering a US initial public offering that could raise at least US$500 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Tencent Holdings Ltd-backed company is working with advisers on the preparations for the offering, which could take place as soon as this year, the people said. MissFresh could look to raise as much as US$1 billion in the share sale though deliberations are still at an early stage, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private.

No final decisions have been made on the IPO details including size and timeline, the people said. A representative for MissFresh had no immediate comment.

Customers use smartphones to purchase products from a Mr. Fresh unstaffed kiosk inside the offices of its affiliate MissFresh in Beijing, China, on May 9, 2018. Photo: Bloomberg

MissFresh offers more than 4,000 types of products from vegetables, seafood to snacks and cooked food, and promises deliveries as fast as 30 minutes, according to its website. The company has raised at least US$1.5 billion since its inception in 2014 and counts Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Tiger Global Management among its backers.

In December, the start-up raised 2 billion yuan (US$306 million) in a funding round led by the Qingdao government. The latest fundraising valued the company at about US$3 billion, the people said.

MissFresh is competing in a grocery delivery battle in China between start-ups such as Nice Tuan and Dingdong Maicai and platforms operated by Meituan and Pinduoduo Inc. Consumers sheltering at home during the pandemic have reinvigorated a once-difficult online grocery arena. Dingdong Maicai is also considering a US IPO as soon as this year to support its expansion, Bloomberg News reported in February.