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Chinese Food Delivery Startup Nabs $30M in Tencent Funding

A China-based food delivery startup says it has big plans for the $30 million in funding it will receive.

Line0, based in Nanjing, announced this week that the millions were secured from Chinese Internet conglomerate Tencent. Line0 founder and CEO William Wu said he plans to take advantage of emerging trends in online food ordering and delivery with the new cash.

"For younger age groups, the demand for takeaway is rising year by year,” said Wu, whose remarks were translated by Tech in Asia. “But among China’s food and beverage companies, small- and medium-sized businesses lack the capacity to build their own delivery systems, while the giants generally do not want to, so there is a huge opportunity."

Wu also noted that location-based offline-to-offline services are a rising trend in the nation, suggesting that consumer habits are shifting in favor of Line0’s online and in-app services.

Tencent’s multimillion dollar investment follows earlier funding from Sequoia Capital and Gobi Partners in 2014 and 2012, respectively. Line0 currently operates in five cities: Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Suzhou and Wuhan. But, with Tencent’s financial backing, Line0 now aims to establish its one-hour delivery operations in up to 20 Chinese cities by the end of 2015, reports say.

Experts are beginning to zero-in on the potential for mobile technology to overhaul traditional restaurant and food services; recent studies show an influx of restaurant diners using mobile devices and interacting with restaurants online, suggesting that the food industry is following the same path to a mobile revolution the world is seeing in commerce.

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