Ruipeng Pet Healthcare gets hundreds of millions from Tencent and others

Business & Technology

A veterinary clinic and pet care chain just got a boatload of money for expansion and stands a chance of becoming a dominant player in China’s booming pet care industry.

A typical Ruipeng Pet clinic, offering both veterinary services and sells pet food and products, located in a ground floor space on a retail street.

Tech behemoth Tencent has led a new funding round worth “hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars” into New Ruipeng Pet Healthcare Group, a Shenzhen-based company that offers a variety of pet services and products from veterinary care to food and beauty products, according to Caixin. Ruipeng operates more than 1,400 pet clinics around China. Many are located in ground stores on busy retail streets, and offer both medical services and pet products.

$4.42 billion (30 billion yuan) is how the company values itself after this funding round.

  • Other investors in this round include German pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim and Chinese real estate developer Country Garden.
  • Ruipeng was founded in 2013. Earlier investors include majors players like CICC Capital and Hillhouse Capital.
  • Ruipeng shares are already traded on NEEQ (link in Chinese), an over-the-counter market for Chinese SMEs.

$66.8 billion: that will be the market size of China’s pet care economy by 2023, says Alizila, Alibaba’s PR website, which also says that “Chinese Millennials are the driving force behind this booming market.”

  • According to Alibaba numbers, during the November 11 Singles’ Day shopping festival, “cat food was the best-selling category on Alibaba Group’s cross-border marketplace, Tmall Global, outperforming other popular import categories such as baby formula and face serums,” while sales of pet health supplements grew 50% year-on-year from 2017 to 2019 consecutively.
  • There were 12,657 pet hospitals nationwide in China by 2018, per figures cited by East Money (in Chinese).

The opportunity for Ruipeng

The number of pet owners is growing rapidly, and they are willing to spend ever higher budgets on their dogs and cats. But the industry is highly fragmented and the concentration of pet clinics is low compared to demand.

With this new infusion of cash, and Tencent’s backing, Ruipeng stands a chance to become the dominant market player.