We know 2012 is e-commerce winter and already got used to bad news those days, layoff, shutdown, price war…naturally VCs would tighten their belt for e-commerce. Nevertheless suddenly on August 21st, a flash sale B2C is claimed to receive over 10 million USD money(though no accurate number exposed) from Softbank and BlueRun ventures (actually two quite prestigious firms). Well guess there are always some lucky ones to get money in winter.

This platform is called Tianpin.com, which just set up in June this year in Shanghai. I had a quick look at it, more or less like a regular flash sale platform, with vigorous promotional and discount campaigns, i.e. every brand is 80%-90% off, buy RMB100 get RMB100 back right now etc. Other than these, I did not discern anything catchy, and especially the dresses there would not fit into my favorite picks. Anyhow, it is just a startup, how can I be so fussy and demanding, right?

Tianpin said its business model will be social e-commerce oriented in the immediate future, though I failed to see such gesture right now. It is said the main reason that the partner from Softbank sprinkled its money into Tianpin is because he really likes its founder and Team.

Out of my curiosity, I wished to dig out more profile of its founder from the public domain. Haplessly not much there. The founder is nicknamed as “Big Bear” (true name is Wang Hao) on Sina Weibo account. His contents of micro-blogging have been mostly professional, discussing e-commerce trend, with occasional eating photo in a dark night or simply food photo. He has about almost 60,000 followers, which implies that he has great social influence and people skills. I wonder whether his personal charm really helps him to enchant the VCs.

For better or for worse, hearing good news in winter did feel delightful, but somehow still certain irksome inkling and doubt have been ringing in my mind for Tianpin’s ultimate survival.

By Cécilia Wu
English & Chinese Editorial Manager