Vegetable-selling app in China valued at almost $3bn

Meicai, which translates to “beautiful vegetable,” allows users to buy vegetables direct from farms

Meicai, which means “beautiful vegetable,” was founded in 2014 with a goal of sourcing vegetables for about 10 million small and medium-size restaurants in China

Meicai, which means “beautiful vegetable,” was founded in 2014 with a goal of sourcing vegetables for about 10 million small and medium-size restaurants in China

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Meicai, a China start-up that helps farmers sell vegetables to restaurants, has been valued at $3 billion on the basis of raising $450 million in a funding round .

The funding round for the Beijing-based startup is part of its efforts to expand in the costly fresh-foods market. Genesis

Meicai, which means “beautiful vegetable,” was founded in 2014 with a goal of sourcing vegetables for about 10 million small and medium-size restaurants in China. It allows owners to use an app on their smartphone to order specialties like bok choy and eggplant directly from farms. Meicai is the latest emerging player aiming to disrupt traditional retail operations by cutting out middlemen.

The funding underscores the lofty valuations Chinese companies are fetching in a market awash with capital. Five of the world’s 10 biggest venture deals were in Chinese-based companies last year, while the U.S. accounted for two, according to researcher Preqin. The largest globally was the $5.5 billion funding in the Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing.

A total of $65 billion was invested in greater China, compared with $77 billion in North America, according to Preqin.

Liu Chuanjun, chief executive officer for Meicai, declined to comment on the fundraising.

- Bloomberg

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