Tencent, a China-listed media group, has merged two of its corporate venturing portfolio companies into one local discount coupon provider. Tencent’s Gaopeng China joint venture with US-listed discount coupon provider Groupon has merged with peer FTuan. Groupon will be a minority shareholder in the new company, which will continue to operate both the Gaopeng and FTuan brands, alongside Tencent. Lin Ninig, chief executive (CEO) of the new company, said: “China’s daily deals market is moving from investment-driven to operation-focused. The multi-brand strategy after the merger will enable the new company to serve the segment needs of merchants and consumers in lifestyle e-commerce and mobile internet.” Wu Xiaoguang, CEO of Tencent E-Commerce Holding Company, said: “Group-buying is a natural leverage off our large user base, and an attractive offering that enhances the value of our e-commerce platform to online shoppers in China.” Jason Harinstein, senior vice-president of corporate development at Groupon, added: “For Groupon, this transaction is the next logical step in our strategy to strengthen our investment in China. Tencent has been a great partner, and we are excited to continue our partnership with them.” In March last year, Groupon launched its China-language discount coupon website GaoPeng.com in a first deal for social messaging company Tencent’s $760m Collaboration (or Industrial Win-Win) corporate venturing fund launched in January. Newswire Reuters said the site was funded by Groupon, Tencent and venture capital firm Yunfeng Capital, which was started by the founder of online auction company Alibaba.com. In October, FTuan raised $60m in its series C round from a consortium reportedly including social media group Tencent after it had provided an undisclosed amount to FTuan’s B round earlier last year.

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