Women's Shopping Platform Meili Files for $500 Million U.S. IPO
The Tencent-backed e-commerce company confidentially filed for an initial public offering in New York last week.
A social e-commerce platform selling women's fashion products, Meili Inc., has confidentially filed for an initial public offering in New York late last week.
If successful, the IPO could raise up to $500 million for the company, according to Caixin Global news agency.
Users of Meili can browse for products, share images, and shop. The site has been compared to Pinterest, a U.S. photo-sharing platform which is moving into e-commerce.
Meili was formed in January 2016 by a merger of two Chinese social commerce platforms focused on women' fashion, Meilishuo ("beauty talk") and Mogujie ("mushroom street").
The latter was founded in 2010 by Qi Chen, who previously worked at China's largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA). Chen is now serving as the chief executive officer of Meili, based in Hangzhou.
The Hong Kong-listed Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. holds a 15 percent stake in Meili.
Tencent has been aggressively expanding its presence in e-commerce. The giant holds a 20 percent stake in JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq: JD), a rival to Alibaba. Last year, Tencent and JD invested in Vipshop Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: VIPS), another fashion retailer.
More recently, Tencent has backed Pinduoduo, the social discount marketplace which filed last week for a U.S. IPO.
According to an earlier report by Reuters, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) will lead the Meili listing, with Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) and China Renaissance also taking part.