The meteoric growth of the Asian e-commerce industry in 2014 attracted international investors and huge investments amounting to $2bn. In just the first six weeks of 2015 e-commerce is showing no signs of slowing down. The sector has already attracted $11.5B in 2015.
According to CB Insights, a venture capital and angel investment database, investors continue to pour money into e-commerce. Ten Asian e-commerce have received $100M in equity financing in the first 6 weeks of 2015. E-commerce companies in Asia have raised $1.9B this year on 75 equity deals.
What’s more the first six weeks of 2015 have delivered more investment than the entire first quarter of 2014. In comparison, US e-commerce funding has raised $2.4B on 74 equity financings so far this year.
In fact, at its current pace, the first quarter of 2015 will see the most deals in the past four years in Asian e-commerce companies, and the second largest quarter for funding in the same time period.
The boom in financing activity in 2014 was driven by a number of $100 million+ rounds, as well as five $500M+ financings to Asia Unicorns such as Flipkart and Snapdeal. Funding was up 312% and deals were up 59% compared to 2013.
The slew of $100 million rounds happened mainly in China, with Clues Network, a multi-product Indian e-commerce marketplace serving mostly smaller cities, being the only e-commerce company outside of China to raise a nine-figure round in 2015.
The biggest round was a $350M Series E that Ele.me, a food-ordering site raised from Sequoia Capital China, Tencent, CITIC Capital PE, and Jingdong, among others. Wanda e-commerce has raised the second most this year, across two rounds totalling $260M.
CB Insights also found that Asian tech startups are raising funds at a faster rate than European tech companies. While Asian tech startups actually take longer on average to go from Seed to Series A, they experience a shorter time between Series A and B rounds in 2014.
Using CB Insights data to surface some of the hottest and fastest-raising Series A stage companies, CB Insights lists among others these companies that all went from Seed to Series A in less than 250 days: Postmates of India, Grofers, SilverEdge Technologies, Yetang and Translimit.
Fast-raising Series B stage companies, include some of the hottest early-to-mid-stage tech companies in Asia, namely GoGoVan, a Hong Kong-based e-hailing company that raised $10M at a $100M valuation in November 2014, as well as Chuizi Technology, a China-based company that develops mobile operating system under the name Smartisan. Chuizi Technology raised a $24M Series B in March 2014 less than 5 months after raising an $11.5M Series A from Buttonwood Capital.