Alibaba Group (NASDAQ: BABA) announced that it will acquire Ele.me in one of the largest M&A deal in China’s online business sector. Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial Services Group already owned about 43 percent of the voting shares of Ele.me, the acquisition gives Ele.me an implied valuation of US$9.5 billion
Ele.me (roughly means “Hungry now?”) is a professional online-to-offline (O2O) catering and food delivery platform in China. Co-founder Mark Zhang is pleased that his company has become an “unicorn.” His company has been working with Alibaba since 2015 and share the same vision of the “new retail” industry in China.
Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang welcomes Ele.me to join the family. Moving forward, Ele.me will ride on Alibaba’s digital economy ecology and its e-commerce infrastructure and should spark chemistry with many of Alibaba affiliated businesses.