July 29, 2014, 11:04 AM

Chinese online electronics distributor Cogobuy raises $177 million in an IPO

Shenzhen-based Cogobuy is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Lead Photo

China-based Cogobuy, which sells about 50,000 electronics components from some 500 vendors to small and midsize manufacturing companies through Cogobuy.com, raised $177 million last week through its initial public sale of stock on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The company says it will use the proceeds to build out its e-commerce business through additional marketing campaigns, hire additional sales and marketing personnel, and increase its investment in technology and research-and-development projects. Cogobuy is part of Cogobuy Group Inc., which is separately listed on the Nasdaq exchange, where it started selling stock in 2005.

The products on Cogobuy.com, including computer chips from Intel Corp. and microcontrollers from Atmel Corp., are used in making consumer electronics products such as mobile handsets and industrial equipment like medical devices. Buyers on Cogobuy.com include computer manufacturer Lenovo Group Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of smartphones and other telecommunications products. Lenovo is No. 44 in the Internet Retailer China 500, and No. 97 in the Internet Retailer Asia 500; each book ranks companies by their annual web sales.

There are 3 million electronics product manufacturers in China and their demands for electronics parts has topped 2 trillion Yuan ($323.23 billion) in 2013, according to data from Chinese research firm Analysis International.

Cogobuy’s online sales increased 18-fold to 3.9 billion yuan ($630.30 million) in 2013 from 217 million Yuan ($35.07 million) in 2012, garnering about a 50% share of the Chinese online electronics parts market, the company says. It notes that 96.5% of Cogobuy‘s clients are small and midsize companies.

20,000 customers have registered on Cogobuy.com and 3,000 clients placed orders on the site in 2013, the company says. Cogobuy maintains extremely low inventory-carrying costs because it orders from suppliers after it has received purchase orders from its clients, the company says. 

Cogobuy’s major competitors are offline electronics parts marketplaces and Alibaba Group’s multi-industry B2B site, 1688.com, Cogobuy says.

“Compared to large multi-industry B2B e-commerce companies, we only focus on the electronics parts sector, so we could provide more services via our experienced industry expertise,” Cogobuy president Kang Jingwei says.

Cogobuy also provides training events and organizes nationwide developer competitions to promote its brands to small developers. The company also lets software developers exchange ideas for developing new electronics products in an online forum on Cogobuy.com.

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