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Chinese Internet Company’s Funding May Be Biggest Ever

January 19, 2016

Unicorn 2016 Wang Xing China Internet PlusUnicorn 2016 Wang Xing China Internet Plus
Wang XingPhotograph by Ni yanqiang — Imaginechina via AP Images

(Reuters) – Chinese Internet company Meituan-Dianping, akin to a mix of Yelp, GroupOn and food delivery, said on Tuesday its latest funding round raised over $3.3 billion, valuing the firm at more than $18 billion.

The more than $3.3 billion fundraising is, by some calculations, the largest for a private Internet company, outstripping compatriot’s $3 billion announced in September. Chinese Internet companies have been spending heavily amid fierce competition.

The company valued itself at upwards of $18 billion. This would make Meituan-Dianping the fifth-most valuable pre-IPO tech company in the world, according to market research firm CB Insights. That is larger than the latest publicly available valuations for U.S. messaging app Snapchat, Indian e-commerce start-up Flipkart and Didi Kuaidi.

Meituan-Dianping was formed in October when Meituan, backed by Alibaba Group (BABA), and Dianping, which is backed by Tencent Holdings, merged.

In November, The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times reported that Alibaba was seeking to sell its stake in the firm.