(Yicai Global) Sept. 5 -- Wang Xing, who founded a group buying platform called Meituan in 2010 and built it into a multi-billion company that seeks for a valuation between USD46 billion and USD55 billion in its upcoming initial public offering, has flourished partly due to his determination not to lose control.
Wang's pioneering life would have been a lot easier if he had not insisted on keeping absolute control over the company, an autobiographical book called Nine Defeats and One Victory, published in 2014, shows. Wang also serves as the chief executive for the Beijing-based firm.
The founder's resolution has not stopped him from raising money, as Meituan's funding rounds have gotten bigger each time. At the A round of funding in 2010 the firm bagged USD20 million, while the second round in 2011 brought in USD50 million from Alibaba Group Holding and Sequoia. The third round in 2014 grew six-fold to USD300 million, participated by Hangzhou's internet behemoth. The book shows that this period was a rare honeymoon for the two companies, and Wang even hired Alibaba's former vice chairman Gan Jiawei.
Meituan and Dianping, another Chinese bulk-buy website, merged in October 2015, and Wang got a large amount of investment from Tencent Holdings, Alibaba's archrival. The internet giant turned to support a competitor Ele.me and re-established Koubei to compete with Meituan-Dianping's core businesses of food takeout, restaurant reviews, and travel bookings.
Shenzhen's Tencent has become the sprawling company's major shareholder, having more than a 20 percent stake, while Wang has kept about 11 percent of the stocks. However, the founder's voting rights account for over 48 percent of the total and those of Tencent are less than 10 percent. The firm will adopt a weighted voting rights structure in the IPO scheduled for Sept. 7, which allows Wang to follow the same path of keeping a tight grip of the reins.
Editor: Emmi Laine