CodeBox, a portfolio company of INCE Capital, announces the completion of its Series B2 round financing, raising dozens of million USD. As of now, CodeBox has completed 5 rounds of funding within a year, totaling 40 million USD. INCE Capital was the lead investor in Series B1 round.
Author: CHEN Shuya
CodeBox, an e-commerce platform for the handicraft and jewelry community, has completed its Series B2 round of financing, raising dozens of million USD. Vision Plus Capital and Meridian Capital are the lead investors. SIG and other existing shareholders all participated in the co-investment. The proceeds will mainly be used to enhance content and services, and expand more offline service outlets.
This marks the fifth round of financing completed by CodeBox within one year. Previously, it received investment from EtherCap, Yi Capital and BlueRun Ventures in the angel round of funding; exclusive investment from SIG in Series A1 round; Series A2 round of funding led by Crystal Stream; Series B1 round of funding led by INCE Capital and ByteDance, co-invested by SIG, BlueRun and Crystal Stream. With the completion of Series B2 round of financing, Codebox has raised an accumulated 40 million USD in total.
CodeBox was founded in November 2018. The App was launched in March 2019, and currently has over 20 million registered users. The monthly sales have exceeded 100 million RMB since the launch of its e-commerce business 9 months ago.
As distinct from other handicraft e-commerce platforms, CodeBox chose its go-to-market strategy as "tools + content + services" at the very beginning of its establishment. In this specific field, the biggest demand of users is to determine the authenticity and evaluate price, for which CodeBox pioneered the live streaming appraisal model. It provides free appraisal services, consisting of live streaming and graphic + text formats.
YANG Jun, COO of CodeBox, said that appraisers are relatively scarce resources. As a pioneer in the industry, CodeBox has seized the first-mover advantage in the appraisal service system. At present, it has attracted hundreds of professional appraisers to become formal employees of the company, which ensures the standardization of the service system - one of the most distinctive features of CodeBox.
CodeBox's later product development also revolved around users’ pain points. In June 2019, CodeBox launched a specialized interest community focusing on handicraft, jewelry and jade to meet the needs of users to obtain and exchange information. In July, the e-commerce business kicked off. The platform cherry picked more than 3,000 merchants across 60+ categories, and offered "satisfactory transactions" in user shopping experience through a robust quality control system. Apart from the appraisal service enabled by front-end tools, CodeBox also provides quality control appraisal services in the transaction process.
Over just 9 months since July last year, the monthly sales have expanded from one million to hundreds of millions. The first launch anniversary in March this year witnessed a single-day sales over 20 million RMB.
Live streaming appraisal is highly entertaining. CodeBox re-edits the best content and distributes it to external short-video and social platforms such as Tik Tok and Kwai, which attracts more than 10 million followers across all platforms.
In the transaction process, CodeBox also generates content through innovative measures. For example, raw stones, a special category - before becoming the finished product, the stones will go through multiple links with hands changed many times between intermediate users. CodeBox tracks and traces the entire chain of links and presents users with all status from raw stone to finished product.
The content output is also a form of market education. At present, there is still strong misperception of this industry. Many people even stereotype it as "handicrafts = antiques = old chaps". However, handicraft and jewelry are actually not a niche market, with its user base growing younger. According to CodeBox, the user age group is now between 25-55 years old, with a 7: 3 male to female ratio.
The CodeBox team is now more than 300 strong, with headquarters located in Beijing, and three major logistics centers in Beijing, Yunnan and Guangdong. The company's top executives come from first-tier Internet players in China, with series of successful entrepreneurial experience in e-commerce, live streaming, social networking, content and other fields. The back-end core team responsible for supply chain and warehousing also has access to rich industry resources.