Alibaba.com has garnered the largest round of venture capital ever for a Chinese Internet company. The $82 million Series D round came from Softbank, Fidelity Investments, Granite Global Ventures and Venture TDF China.
The round brings its total VC raised to $112 million.
Alibaba operates China’s largest B2B Web site. It was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma with the help of Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, Venture TDF, Transpac and Investor AB.
Given the current enthusiasm for Chinese investments and Chinese IPOs (such as China Life’s $3.5 billion IPO in 2003), Alibaba may be one of those companies in the right place at the right time.
Alibaba is dominant in its marketplace. It represents some 2.71 million small to medium-sized Chinese businesses that sell to buyers worldwide.
It’s easy to envision buyers for every store in the United States or Europe, for example, logging onto Alibaba to get a long list of competitive quotes for products they would like to sell next Christmas at the cheapest prices.
Alibaba will use part of its latest investment to support its new consumer Web site, Taobao.com, and to expand the services it provides to its registered users.