Industrial e-commerce platform Zhenkunhang raised a $160m corporate-backed series D round, which forms part of the emerging e-commerce space

China-based industrial e-commerce platform Zhenkunhang raised $160m in a series D round, which was led by internet group Tencent, and also featured Legend Capital, the venturing subsidiary of conglomerate Legend Holdings.  Other participants included Matrix Partners China, the local affiliate of US-headquartered early-stage investment firm Matrix Partners, as well as venture capital firm Eastern Bell Venture Capital and Genesis Capital, a growth equity fund run by former Tencent investment managers Richard Peng and Kurt Xu. Legend Holdings was a returning investor. In the past, Zhenkunhang was also backed by petroleum company Shell, which had participated in an earlier round via its Shell China subsidiary.

Founded in 1996, Zhenkunhang runs a business-to-business online trading and procurement services marketplace, which sells over 2 million industrial products such as tools as well as consumables for maintenance, repair and operation, sourced from more than 5,000 suppliers. The company did not reveal what it intends to use the fresh funding for.

Zhenkunhang is an example of a company from the e-commerce space, which has been under the radar of corporate venturing investors, as the GCV Analytics chart here shows. Over the past five years, there has been no dearth of rounds raised by such enterprises and backed by corporates, reaching a top at 94 deals in 2015 and decreasing ever since, down to 70 in 2018. However, the total estimated capital employed in those rounds grew from $5.12bn in 2014 to $10.92bn in 2017 and then slid to $9.89bn last year. This suggests valuations of such enterprises have gone up as well.