A report from Tencent Tech (spotted first by Tech in Asia) says that Gaopeng confirmed the new round of funding today led by its existing backers Groupon and Tencent, but did not disclose the amount raised. The report cites a source as saying that the amount raised could exceed $30 million.
Groupon declined to comment when contacted, while Gaopeng did not respond to a request for comment.
Gaopeng will reportedly use the funds to boost its online-to-offline business — which would mainly consist of offering movie booking services via collaboration with Dianying QQ to roll out seat reservations and possibly promotions. The company will also allow merchants more freedom in releasing their deals to create more linkage with other channels including mobile messaging platform Weixin (what WeChat is known as in China).
According to another Chinese media report, Gaopeng will focus on improving its mobile experience via Weituangou — a purchasing platform rolled out by Gaopeng and linked to WeChat. Weituangou will also be the first to join WeChat’s payment platform (which is currently in a final in-house testing stage).
The “New Gaopeng” – a merger of Gaopeng, Ftuan and QQtuan more than a year ago – hasn’t made a dent yet in China’s daily deals market with only a 2.7 percent share in the first quarter of the year, according to a report released in late May. Juhuasuan, a daily deals site run under the Taobao brand by China’s leading ecommerce company Alibaba Group, kept its leadership position in the market with 33.6 percent, while rival Meituan clung on solidly to its second overall position with 17.8 percent.
However, Gaopeng’s share climbed from 1.8 percent in the previous quarter, indicating growth that is still to come. The market does not seem to be slowing down at all too, with Chinese daily deal sites posting more than 10.3 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) worth of revenue in the first quarter of 2013, up slightly from the 10 billion yuan hit in the fourth quarter of 2012.
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