Mogus long journey: From rejecting Alibabas advances to US IPO

Mogu, a Tencent-backed service that offers fashion content and products to young women, has joined a string of Chinese tech companies pressing ahead to sell their shares through initial public offerings in the US before the year-end.
Mogu priced its sale at $14 per share on Wednesday, toward the lower end of a marketed range. That values the unprofitable company at $1.3 billion, a drop from the estimated valuation of $3 billionafter Mogujie acquired its chief competitor Meili to form Mogu in 2016.
The firm is poised to raise $66.5 million from the IPO, which will help it fund content and technological development to vie for a piece of Chinas $390 billion online fashion market.
While Alibaba has long dominated how people buy clothes online, a few smaller players including Pinduoduo and Mogu have managed to carve out a niche.
According to a September report by mobile analytics firm QuestMobile, Mogu controlled an 8.1 percent penetration rate among ecommerce apps targeting women under 24 years old. Alibaba led the game at 98 percent.
Now a formidable rival, Alibaba has played a key role in Mogus early day growth.

Under the giants shadow

In 2009, Chen Qi, a former engineer and designer at Alibaba, founded Mogujie which means mushroom street in Chinese with the aim to create a digital magazine for young women.
The firms initial incarnation was a Pinterest -type pinboard that let users share fashion items with links to third-party ecommerce platforms. Back then, a majority of the products on display came from Taobao, Alibabas marketplace for small and medium-sized merchants.
We have to recognize Taobaos dominance in the retail space. It was inevitable that most of our products came from there, Chen told TechCrunch.
Mogus long journey: From rejecting Alibabas advances to US IPO
Chen Qi, co-founder and CEO of Mogu / Credit: Mogu
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