Located throughout 58 cities within China, there are around 30,000 Ubox vending machines. And this number is going to rise, as the Carlyle Group, one of the largest buyout funds in the world, is set to invest US$85 million to help expand the number of machines available, and to provide better service. A representative for Carlyle Group stated:
“[the investment will]further expand vending machine network and consumer coverage in China, improve its digital marketing and advertising business, and explore other value-added services for its customers.”
Ubox has been in China for several years, and during this time citizens are able to use a mobile app or go to the machine directly to pick up whatever drink or snack the person may want. With their mobile app, a person can pick these up from the nearest vending machine.
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One of the main goals of the investment that Ubox has already stated will be high priority is to ensure that they are expanding their online to offline operations. The online market is highly competitive, and has shown that there is still an untapped market that consumers are ready for. With Ubox’s new investment, they hope to make it more convenient for online customers.
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The History of Ubox
For several years, Ubox has been leading the vending machine market in China. They not only offer the ability to pick up drinks and snacks via their machines, but they also offer the ability for users to win points by playing games that are embedded into these machines. These points can lead to prizes, and is one of the reasons that many citizens keep coming back. Ubox Chairman, Wang Bin stated:
“Over the last four years, Ubox has made a number of innovations to improve the production efficiency and business model of China’s vending machine industry through its internet and online payment tools, thus driving the fast development of the market.”
The Future of Ubox
With the new investment, the future of Ubox is looking bright. Though the company only has 30,000 units throughout China, many suspect that this number will double within the next two to four years. It will make Ubox one of the most well-known vending machines that are out there.