Sep 14, 2017

Exclusive: Wish raising new round at $8 billion valuation

E-commerce company Wish is raising around $250 million in new funding at a valuation north of $8 billion, Axios has learned from multiple sources. Several mutual funds are expected to participate, including Wellington Management, alongside existing shareholders. A final close is imminent, and comes just months after Wish announced an investment led by Everbright-IDG Industrial Fund, which was rumored to be worth $500 million on a $4 billion post-money valuation.

Why it matters: Wish is complicating the narrative that the battle for global e-commerce dominance will be a three-way contest between Amazon, Alibaba and Walmart. Maybe that's why both Amazon and Alibaba reportedly considered trying to buy it a couple years back.

Here's the bull case for Wish:

  • Wish vs. Amazon: Wish uses social discovery to find and offer goods at very deep discounts, by shipping most goods directly from Chinese manufacturers. It also has gone deep into international markets.
  • Wish vs. Alibaba: Wish may have a strong international presence, but it's very much a product of Silicon Valley. Were Alibaba to buy Wish, it would be an interesting way to take the fight to Amazon on its home market turf.
  • Wish vs. Walmart: Wish has a much larger SKU selection than Walmart, and often targets very similar consumers in the U.S.

On the other hand... Wish is trying to compete with Amazon and Alibaba in their core competency, kind of like Jet.com tried before being acquired by Walmart for $3 billion (which likely removes Walmart from the ranks of potential Wish acquirors). For Wish and its investors, that's either very brave or very stupid.

Funding history: Wish to date has raised over $1 billion in venture funding, from firms like Everbright-IDG, Founders Fund, GGV Capital, GST Global, Temasek, Third Point Ventures and Formation 8.

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