Have you ever looked at the internet and thought “I wish I could buy more sliced fruit on this”? If you have, then I have just startup for you. China’s Guocool is an e-commerce startup that’s focused on selling sliced fruit packages online. Seriously.
Needless to say, a business like this lives and dies by the quality of its food, and since I haven’t had a chance to actually taste the goods, I can’t really comment on the company’s potential longevity. But although it might sound crazy, a fruit-focused e-commerce website is actually a pretty clever idea. Many Chinese businesses offer fresh fruit to guests, lay out fruit platters for important meetings, or even provide free fruit to their employees. When I worked at Youku, for example, everyone got a piece of food for free every day. That food has to come from somewhere, and Guocool makes purchasing it online easy and attractive.
When I say attractive, I mean that in the aesthetic sense. The fruit on this website looks gorgeous. There’s no way it will look quite so good when it actually shows up at your door, but even so it’s hard to resist placing an order; I had just finished dinner when I started looking at the site and it made me hungry again. The company’s prices are significantly higher than what it would cost to just buy fruit at your local fruit stand and chop it up yourself, of course, but the website looks so damn good that I think a lot of people will be tempted to order online anyway.
It’s also worth pointing out that at least in major cities, delivery tends to be very fast, so the idea of buying fruit online is probably more appealing to Chinese urban denizens than it would be too many Westerners. Guocool may be a great option for many businesses looking for fruit, but I suspect that the company won’t only have corporate clients.
For once, my enthusiasm seems to be matched by others who’ve taken a look at the startup. Guocool is one of the hottest companies on 17startup, a database of Chinese tech startups, and right now its entry is full of comments about how the company looks promising. And indeed, it seems to be doing well. Guocool got a cash injection last fall to the tune of 1.2 million RMB ($196,000) from an angel investor, and the site now has a much sharper look and seems to be making great progress.
I reached out to the guys behind Guocool a few days ago to learn more about the startup, but thus far I haven’t heard back — presumably they’re too busy chopping and shipping fruit. In any event, this is definitely one Chinese startup to keep an eye on, and if you’re in a Chinese city you might even consider sampling some of those delicious-looking blueberries.
Related Tags:sliced fruit packages online, selling sliced fruit packages, China’s Guocool e-commerce, e-commerce site, Chinese city, shipping fruit