Pinduoduo, one of China’s largest e-commerce unicorns, looks to raise around US$1 billion in its U.S. initial public offering (IPO), confirming a report published earlier by Pandaily.
The three-year-old company, under the name of Walnut Street Group Holding Limited, saw its revenue more than tripled to US$278 million in 2017 from around US$79 million in 2016, according to its filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week.
The Shanghai-based company founded by former Google engineer Colin Huang targets lower-income consumers in China’s vast low-tired cities. Branding itself as “Inaugurator of New E-commerce,” the company integrates social media with online shopping by allowing consumers to invite their friends to buy products together at a discount – up to 20% cheaper.
In the first quarter this year, its revenue jumped to US$220.7 million, compared with the US$5.9 million revenue from the same period in 2017.
Pinduoduo said it has 300 million active buyers and one million merchants. In 2017, the number of transactions generated by its users on its mobile platform – excluding inflows from its website and other channels – reached 4.3 billion, while in the first quarter this year the number maintained a high level at 1.7 billion.
Backed by Tencent Holding Ltd., the company benefits from the large WeChat user base where people share shopping deals on Pinduoduo and invite their friends to participate in the Groupon-like purchases.
Though valued at about $15 billion in April after raising more than $1 billion according to Bloomberg, Pinduoduo reported losses of $79.5 million last year and $44.9 million from January to March this year.