A Chinese unmanned retail operations firm called “Feng E Zu Shi” (丰e足食) announced on Tuesday its completion of A-round financing totaling 300 million yuan ($47 million). The leading investor is SoftBank Ventures Asia, while co-investors are CICC Cultural Consumption Industry Equity Investment Fund under CICC Capital and Shenzhen Capital Group.
After this round of financing, Shenzhen Mingde Holding Development Co., Ltd., which is also the controlling shareholder of major Chinese logistics firm SF Holding, and SoftBank Ventures Asia are the two largest shareholders. The funds are mainly for accelerating scale and growth, improving operational efficiency and enhancing service quality.
Feng E Zu Shi was incubated by SF Express in 2017. As a sales service provider, it targets white-collar workers in offices, offering breakfast, afternoon tea, snacks and other beverages. It has expanded consumption scenarios from offices to semi-open areas such as logistics parks, mass creation spaces, factories, government agencies, schools and hospitals.
Feng E Zu Shi representatives maintain they are firmly optimistic about the commercial value of unmanned retail. Unmanned AI-based sales require minimal operations capacity, and can flexibly adapt to many scenarios. Customers in this sector are expected to have high-quality potential, giving the industry substantial market space for future expansion. In terms of its business operation, Feng E Zu Shi fully employs the advantages of SF Express services and logistics supply chains, and continuously invests in scenario demand satisfaction, supply chain optimization and product R&D.
Ding Haipeng, a partner of SoftBank Ventures Asia, said: “Offline unmanned retail is of great commercial value and is an irreplaceable offline channel for brands to gain consumers. We are optimistic about the excellent operational capabilities and business expansion capabilities of Feng E Zu Shi, and will constantly enrich the unmanned retail reach scenario to provide consumers with more convenient consumption experiences.”