A Chinese company that is a big seller of portable chargers on Amazon.com Inc. sites around the world has attracted a new infusion of capital.
Hunan Ocean Wing E-Commerce Co. Ltd., best known for its Anker brand of portable chargers and other electronics products, has raised 327 million yuan ($47 million) from a group of investors led by IDG Capital, a China-based venture capital firm that focuses on investing in Chinese technology companies.
IDG Capital has historical ties to U.S.-based research and publishing firm International Data Group (IDG) and has invested in more than 500 Chinese companies. They include smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc., No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2016 China 500 ranking of China’s top online retailers, and E-commerce China DangDang Inc., No. 9.
The funding round is based on a valuation of Ocean Wing of 3,600 million yuan ($521 million), the company says. It is the first time the company has raised funds since it started to list its shares on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations, a stock exchange for Chinese startups, in October.
Other investors include internet-connected device maker Shanghai Lianshi Information technology Co. Ltd, Fortune 500 Chinese company CITIC Group and Ocean Wing’s lithium ion battery supplier, Sunwoda Electronic Co. Ltd.
Oceanwing says it will use the funds to develop new technology and products, including faster battery chargers, an internet-connected speaker and wireless headphones.
Founded in 2011 by Steven Yang, a former Google Inc. engineer, Ocean Wing grew its sales rapidly by focusing on selling through Amazon.com Inc. sites in Western countries. The company says it has served more than 24 million consumers and that its sales grew 75% to 1.302 billion yuan ($193.1 million) in 2015 from 746 million yuan ($110.6 million) in 2014. Ocean Wing also says its gross margin grew to 53% in 2015 due to the growing recognition of the Anker brand and its increased bargaining power with suppliers.
The company recently expanded from selling exclusively online to also selling through offline channels in the United States. Anker products are now available in U.S. bricks-and-mortar stores like Staples Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co. Inc., and Ocean Wing last week opened its own stores in two shopping centers in Seattle. Those stores enable shoppers to rent a portable phone charger rather than buy it, as well as see new products and consumer reviews on display screens.
For more information about the Chinese e-commerce market, please click here for the Internet Retailer 2016 China 500.