What if farmers, who grow vegetables, don’t have to depend on agents or middlemen to sell their produce. What if they get to directly sell their produce to buyers at prices they want.
This is not utopia as a Chinese app-based startup, Meicai means beautiful vegetables, is doing this exactly. It helps farmers sell vegetables to restaurants or SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) without the need of middlemen.
Founded in 2014 by Liu Chuanjun, Meicai, works with the goal of sourcing vegetables for about 10 million small and medium-size restaurants in China. The app allows owners to order specialties like bok choy and eggplant directly from farms. It is disrupting the traditional retail operations in the country.
Following its ground-breaking work, the startup has this week raised $450 million in a funding round at the valuation of $3 Billion, reports Bloomberg.
Of late Chinese companies have been flooding the international markets with good backings from investors. According to researcher Preqin, five biggest venture deals out of ten were in Chinese-based companies last year. A total of $65 billion was invested in greater China, compared with $77 billion in North America, he added.
Several Chinese startups have made the entry in India. Ofo, a bicycle sharing company from China launched its service in India, which will be started from Chennai, followed by Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Indore.
Mobike, a bike sharing startup, too announced to begin its operation in Gurugram. Another education startup VIPKID has grown at 10x year-over-year, and it now has half a million registered students in and has a decent international presence.