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Alibaba buys the app Ele.me to conquer the Asian food market at home

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Jack Ma, president and founder of Alibaba Group Holding Limited I was not satisfied with his last inroads in the pharmaceutical industry, grocery items or selling flowers. Thus, departments mobilized interweave the giant Asian sales, Alibaba Group, for a new acquisition with great long-term impact. In this case, is about the application to order food online Ele.me.

Finally, last 2 of April, Alibaba completed the purchase of the app Ele.me with the firm objective to conquer the Asian food market at home.

Chinese e-commerce giant already it had a significant shareholding in the app and has now acquired the remaining to clinch the platform as a whole. A transaction that grants the company an enterprise value of 9.500 millions of dollars.

It's a statement, the company has confirmed the operation and explained, in the words of the CEO of the group, Daniel Zhang, the purpose of it: “Ele.me has achieved leadership in the sector of local services and food delivery online in China. Our shared belief that The new retail will create more value for customers and traders brought us“.

With its latest moves, Alibaba Group has made clear that its strategy is to be increasingly present in physical stores and offer digital processing tools. Or what is the same, eliminating barriers between digital business and physical.

Order online food is not a typically Western phenomenon. In a region 300 million users of telephone applications and home food delivery market valued at 28 billion euros, Ele.me is the application that enjoys greater popularity.

Founded in 2008 by Mark and Jack Zhang Kang, the application, whose name can be translated as “Hungry now?”, It grew from a small-caliber project born in the student environment of Minhang Campus Universidad Shanghai Jiao Tong, to become a standard of the food reserve app in China. Now the giant shopping has made it to increase their impact and influence in Asia.

This transformation took place thanks to the injection of capital through financing campaigns Series E and Series F with which they raised around one billion euros by counting the joint contributions of investors including CITIC PE, Joybuy, Sequoia Capital, Diangping, Tencent Holdings, Hualin Group, China Media Capital and Assets Gopher among others.

The rapid expansion of the service is due to the availability of funds to promote the application to order food online, the participation of Chinese catering industry and the good experience offered to users; within which include reducing the delivery time and the variety of possibilities offered diners.

Ya en 2015, Alibaba Group había depositado su confianza en Ele.me, realizando una inversión de algo más de un millardo de euros. La entrada de Baidu en el juego (el Facebook chino), parece no haber gustado al titán de las ventas sínico.

Detalles de la compra y negociaciones

A finales de febrero se había conocido que Alibaba ha contactado a todos los accionistas de Ele.me para discutir los detalles de una compra que, de efectuarse finalmente, posicionaría como líder al consorcio en otro mercado más.

La filtración la realizó Beijing Hualian Department Store Co., en un intento de endurecer las negociaciones, que sin duda ya eran difíciles de antemano. Baidu, quien vendió a Alibaba su plataforma de reparto de comida Baidu Waimai por 640 millones de euros, ha sido un hueso duro de roer pero finalmente ha claudicado.

En la anterior ocasión, Baidu vendía una app de reserva de comidas que producía pérdidas; ahora hablamos de una de las aplicaciones telefónicas para pedir comida online más exitosas de Asia. El objetivo de Alibaba es evidente; hacerse con la hegemonía de este mercado.

Según los medios de comunicación chinos, la adquisición se ha realizado por un montante de ocho millardos de euros. Este importe superaría el valor de la empresa en el Q4 de 2017 (8.5 millones de euros), pues Alibaba Group ya era propietario del 23% de las acciones. Esto indica la proyección que se espera de Ele.me en los años venideros.

Para Alibaba es un riesgo pequeño pues la compra les permite evaluar el funcionamiento de una fusión sinérgica de establecimientos físicos y compras en línea.

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Sobre el autor

Artículo realizado por el equipo de redacción de DiegoCoquillat.com. Cuenta con profesionales tanto en el terreno de la hostelería, gastronomía y turismo, como en de las nuevas tecnologías e innovación.

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