Alibaba to acquire online delivery platform valued at US$9.5 billion
Alibaba Group has announced plans to acquire leading Chinese online delivery and local services platform, Ele.me, as it moves to merge the online and offline consumer experience into a seamless model it calls New Retail.
The Chinese e-commerce giant and its affiliate Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group currently own approximately 43 per cent of the outstanding voting shares of Ele.me, a fast local delivery service valued at US$9.5 billion, which fulfils orders in cities across China.
The acquisition will deepen the delivery platform’s integration into Alibaba’s ecosystem, building on its core expertise in food delivery and providing consumers with a wider range of products and services on-demand.
Ele.me also complements Alibaba’s existing local services platform, Koubei, which offers consumer acquisition and engagement capabilities for a range of restaurants and service establishments.
By combining the two platforms, Alibaba will be able to offer an integrated experience to consumers both online and offline and deliver greater benefits to merchants and partners.
“Our customers, merchants and partners will benefit from our further integration into the Alibaba family,” said Ele.me founder Zhang Xuhao.
“We share the same strategic vision that New Retail has a bright future and being part of Alibaba’s ecosystem will take Ele.me’s growth to a new level.”
Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said the acquisition will add further momentum to the company’s New Retail initiative.
“Looking forward, Ele.me can leverage Alibaba’s infrastructure in commerce and find new synergies with Alibaba’s diverse businesses to add further momentum to the New Retail initiative,” he said.
Following the acquisition, Ele.me will continue to operate in its own brand and work closely with its existing partners and merchants. Alibaba will support the platform by providing access to its New Retail infrastructure, product offerings and technology expertise.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Zhang will become chairman of Ele.me and special advisor to Alibaba’s CEO on New Retail strategy.
Wang Lei, vice president of Alibaba Group, will become chief executive of Ele.me. Wang joined Alibaba in 2003 and has held a number of senior positions in Alibaba’s consumer e-commerce, B2B, O2O service and healthcare businesses