China's largest "Rent a pop-up shop" platform Putiandi closes 90-million-yuan A-round financing

SHANGHAI, Nov. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- China's leading platform for renting a pop-up space, Putiandi, has recently raised 90 million yuan (approx. US$13.6 million) in A-round financing. In the financing round, Eastern Bell Venture Capital, PGA Fund and GoHigh Fund co-invested 60 million yuan, while Meridian Capital contributed the remaining 30 million yuan. In July 2016, the firm had received 20 million yuan in pre-A funding, led by GoHigh Fund.

The funds raised will be used to optimize the overall experience when navigating Putiandi's platform for short-term commercial rentals, and further leverage the huge databases that store the information on the availability of commercial space, helping businesses that are in the process of socializing their brands  by conducting innovative pop-up marketing campaigns in the new era of retail, said Yi Zongyuan, co-founder of Putiandi.

Putiandi, a one-stop platform for short-term site rental services

Putiandi, established in September 2015, is based in Shanghai and has branches in Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Suzhou, with business in more than 40 cities throughout China. The company has inked strategic partnerships with nearly 3,000 shopping malls.

Putiandi's main focus is its pop-up site rental platform, which accesses the short-term availability of commercial space on the thousands of databases maintained by shopping malls and retail space operators, and makes that space available to businesses looking for opportunities to promote their brand. The space, which can be anywhere in China's many shopping malls and plazas and can be leased by the day, the week or the month, allows brand marketers to launch pop-up events so that they can sell their products, develop customer leads, promote their brand or conduct market research.

Putiandi's mission is to promote the development of the pop-up shop model in China, providing a solution for businesses looking to develop brand awareness through an innovative marketing model: a one-stop service encompassing site rental, data for site selection, data on pop-up activities and pop-up marketing software-as-a-service (Saas) tools.

Consumer expectations have evolved alongside the transformation of the retailing model. As a result, businesses seeking to establish a brand need to provide shoppers with a venue that gives them an opportunity to fulfill their emotional expectations when experiencing a service offering via a carefully planned scenario, and, in turn, transition into a completed sale followed by word-of-mouth communication. Putiandi provides brand marketers with more than just a brick-and-mortar venue through the rental mechanism, but also data on the level of traffic passing through the selected venue, the persona of shoppers that make up that traffic, and a profile of that persona's shopping and other offline activities. The platform offers the brand marketer access to a Saas marketing system featuring offline interaction with followers, recruitment of followers, customer relations management (CRM) and management of WeChat-based shops, helping the marketer integrate both online and offline experiences and build a "pop-up store" model fully optimized for the new retail era.

1. Putiandi leverages Big Data to help brand marketers select the shopping malls and commercial spaces that are most appropriate for their brand positioning, while assisting them in achieving effective integration at prices lower than the market average, enhancing their operational efficiency and reducing operational costs.

2. Putiandi provides brand marketers access to Saas tools for pop-up marketing, including comprehensive support ranging from pre-event promotions to onsite recruitment of followers, CRM, and management of WeChat-based shops.

3. For each pop-up event, Putiandi provides data support for precision marketing including customer traffic data, consumer profiles and shopping data analysis. 

Putiandi provides consumers with access to the tools needed for scenario-based marketing campaigns

In the new retail era, the shopping mall has returned as the offline channel where the vast majority of China's shoppers congregate, as the mall is a one-stop shopping and entertainment place, especially for the country's urban masses. With a meticulously curated scenario and an in-depth understanding of the mall goers expectations in terms of what they expect during their leisure time, the Chinese shopping mall has become the most concentrated and effective venue for delivering that expectation. This is where Putiandi comes in and provides access to those scenario-based marketing campaigns.

Putiandi has almost 1,000 strategic brand partners, including BMW, Bosch Home Appliances, Dyson, Electrolux, Mercedes-Benz, Nestle, Philips, Siemens and Wrigley, among other leading global brands, as well as China's leading internet players, including Baidu Map, Baozun.com, Dianping.com, JD.com, Lily&Beauty and Xiaomi, in addition to a large number of startups based all over the world. With advanced Big Data technology, Putiandi recommends the most appropriate locations at each shopping mall given the attributes of the particular campaign. The various strategies described above lead to the brands benefiting from a roughly 30 percent discount on the going market rate.

Brick-and-mortar store? Online store? WeChat-based shop? The era of the pop-up shop is upon us!

The pop-up shop is an innovative retail format combining creative marketing with commercial space in tandem with a fashion space based on short-term site rental services. The shop is designed to fully reflect the personality of the brand, emulating a European or US art form.

Traditional retail has reached a point where it lacks the elements that lead to an impulse buy, with tried-and-true products and layouts causing aesthetic fatigue. A pop-up shop embraces the spirit of entertainment and stimulates a passer's-by central nervous system by virtue of the unexpected, appealing to an emerging consumer group who is always looking for something better and expects to be entertained without feeling talked down to as part of the process.

A good pop-up shop will be optimized in terms of both the exterior and interior appearance, while the fact that it was international luxury brands that had rolled out the first pop-up shops has done a lot to attract widespread attention to the concept. Coupled with the limited-time marketing approach, the pop-up shop is becoming recognized as the new retail format. 

Pop-up shops allow the brand to deliver new scenario-based experiences coupled with shopper counseling services. Compared to both online and mobile e-commerce, a pop-up shop provides consumers with a brand-new combined online and offline experience, creating an innovative marketing model for brands.

When the era of the Internet is disccussed, it becomes obvious how PC's developed into vehicles for delivering consumer traffic and new consumer experiences, creating operating models for online stores and values for online store operators. This was followed by the era of mobile devices, when that same traffic and experiences transitioned to the consumers' mobile devices, leading to the creation of WeChat-based stores and new revenue streams for operators. Now, in this new retail era, consumers, or to put it another way, shoppers, are returning to the traditional offline channel, the shopping mall. Putiandi operates as a pop-up shop that integrates domestic and global commercial space resources in a move to create value for brand marketers and their brands.

Mr. Yi, the Putiandi co-founder, said, it does not matter whether it is a Fortune Global 500 company, a leading Chinese brand or an emerging startup, we are in golden era of innovations where every startup and every brand can realize its own dream. They are all pursuing their dream and Putiandi hopes to partner with them, aiming to make their dream come true.

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