Meicai, which means “beautiful vegetable” in Chinese, was created in 2014 by former astrophysicist Liu Chuanjun. The app helps customers to order produce directly from farms, cutting out middlemen in the supply chain.

The company focuses on restaurants, claiming to be servicing more than two million locations in over 300 Chinese cities at the end of 2020. Backers include Tiger Global Management, Hillhouse Capital and GGV Capital.

Meicai is doing battle with a number of other food and grocery delivery apps, many of which have secured fresh funding during the Covid-19 crisis. Companies in the sector have sounded confident about their prospects, however, especially for the brands that grab a leading share of deliveries to homes, because home cooking still dwarfs the market for takeout orders.

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