Chinese startup Meicai, which links small vegetable farmers up to restaurants, has raised nearly a half billion USD and has grown to a value of nearly $3 Billion.
Meicai.cn, only just founded in 2014, helps Chinese farmers sell fruit, meat and vegetables to restaurants through a mobile app. In just those three short years, the company has grown fairly quickly – it claims it now is available for restaurants to use in nearly 50 Chinese cities and averages a million orders a day.
Every morning the company sends out thousands of contract drivers to pick up food, according to a story last year in Wired. It then can deliver that food to restaurants, cutting out some of the many middlemen traditionally in the Chinese food distribution network.
“It’s the lowest-cost, lowest-risk and best way to scale quickly,” the company’s founder, Chuanjun Liu, told Wired. “We studied Uber and (Didi) . And the drivers, mostly from rural areas, get stable wages for the first time.
“A company in the US called GrubMarket just copied our model,” Liu said at the time.