TheAsianparent, Southeast Asia’s largest parenting platform, is expanding into more markets in Asia and Africa as well as testing the waters for an e-commerce service after raising several million dollars in its series C funding from Chinese investors in July. Singapore-based TheAsianparent, which began life as a parenting blog in 2009, has developed into a multinational content and community platform with over 23.5 million monthly active users. It now has 180 employees across 12 countries. TheAsianparent has a three C strategy – content, communities and commerce – and wants to become a one-stop app for parents. Its latest round of fundraising was led by Fosun, a family-focused multinational company, and joined by JD.com, one of China's largest e-commerce platforms. Southeast Asian-China fund ATM Capital and other existing series B investors such as Global Grand Leisure and WHG Holdings also joined. The company intends to use the proceeds to further develop its app, expanding in Asian and African markets such as Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, where mortality rates for under-5s are much higher than a country such as Singapore. “We go where babies are,” said Roshni Mahtani, founder and chief executive of theAsianparent, in an interview at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Guangzhou last month. “Southeast Asia is a booming market where internet penetration has been growing exponentially and shows no signs of slowing down.” China’s largest parenting website rise on debut after cutting IPO size The company is also launching an e-commerce platform inside the app for Southeast Asia this year. Products will include skincare, cosmetic and household items created by the company, which hopes that at least 20 per cent of users will buy goods. JD.com will support the company on “multiple levels”, offering e-commerce expertise and product distribution on JD’s website. “There’s a lot about e-commerce that we don’t know yet. That is where JD comes in – to plug the gap and share their network and experience in helping us scale quickly,” Mahtani said. China investments have been flooding into Southeast Asia’s tech industry recently. The country’s venture capital firms injected a total of US$667 million into Southeast Asia tech companies in the first half, up from US$148 million in the same period in 2018, according to data from Refinitiv. By contrast, venture capital investment in Chinese tech companies has seen a 60 per cent year-on-year fall to US$9 billion in the first six months of 2019. Alibaba, JD.com dominate retail scene in Asia-Pacific “For overseas investment, the most important thing is the market,” said Keith Xiao Yekun, an analyst at China Venture, a Chinese investment market information consultancy. “Compared with other countries, Southeast Asian countries have a large market, huge potential and [the tech industry] is relatively underdeveloped. So it naturally becomes a hot destination for [China’s] overseas investment.” Xiao added that China’s tech industry has now shifted from copying successful models in mature markets like the US to serving emerging markets using their own expertise and innovation. being able to ‘localise’ products for different markets and cultures is a key success factor though. Babytree Group, China’s biggest parenting platform operator that combines parenting forums with online shopping for childcare products, is also vying for a slice of the Asian market. After going public in Hong Kong last November, Babytree earlier this year invested in Healofy, an Indian parenting website. For more insi ghts into China technology, be part of our Inside China Tech group on Facebook . Listen to our Inside China Tech podcast and subscribe via iTunes , Spotify or Stitcher . For a comprehensive survey of China’s digital landscape, download the 2019 China Internet Report .