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China’s Biggest Fashion App Uses Bakeoff to Lure Investors Ahead of Planned Fashion IPO

This isn’t your grandma’s church-basement chocolate-chip-cooking-making competition.

Chinese fashion retailer Meilishuo hosted a so-called “bakeoff” to attract potential investors who could back what the e-commerce company hopes is a $4 billion IPO, according to Bloomberg. There’s no word yet on the goodies created at the bakeoff event, but the Chinese company is said to be speaking with several U.S. investment banks.

Backed by Tencent—which also has invested in major e-comm player, JD.com—Meilishuo merged in 2016 with rival Mogujie to form a company said to be worth $3 billion at the time. Meilishuo features more than 15,000 merchants selling clothing, footwear, accessories and beauty products. Its mobile app has been downloaded more than 100 million times. At the time of the merger, Mogujie maintained more than 130 million registered users, according to The Business Times.

Crunchbase describes Meilishuo as a “Pinterest-like” site that helps women discover style and skin care products tailored to their taste. Despite the dominance of Alibaba and JD.com in the e-commerce space, Meilishuo has maintained its position as among China’s top digital destinations for fashion-conscious female shoppers seeking style inspiration and more.

Recently, Chinese firms have shown strong interest in going public via the U.S. instead of on domestic options like the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock exchange attracted double the number of IPOs from Chinese firms in 2017 compared to the year prior, Bob McCooey, senior vice president of Nasdaq’s Listing Services unit, told CNBC.

According to rumors and reports, 2018 could be an eventful year for IPOs in fashion and tech. Farfetch, the luxury e-commerce marketplace, is said to be seeking an IPO that values the company at more than $5 billion. WWD reported that Italian luxury house Valentino is said to be mulling an IPO for the second half of 2018.

Last year data-powered styling company Stitch Fix raised $120 million in its closely watched IPO.