UPDATE 2-Tencent-backed Missfresh valued at $2.5 bln after shares slump in debut

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June 25 (Reuters) - Tencent Holdings Ltd-backed Missfresh Ltd’s shares fell more than 18% in their U.S. stock market debut on Friday, giving the Chinese online grocery company a market capitalization of about $2.5 billion.

The company sold 21 million American depositary shares (ADSs) in its initial public offering (IPO) at the lower end of its target range earlier in the day, raising $273 million.

Missfresh’s ADSs opened at $10.65, compared with their IPO price of $13 per ADS. Each ADS represents three Class B ordinary shares.

The company operates a mobile e-commerce platform that offers delivery of fresh produce, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat.

Xu Zheng, founder and chief executive of Missfresh, said the funds raised from the IPO will be injected into businesses including online supermarkets.

Zheng said the COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on the online fresh produce industry as it drove more consumers to it from stores.

“The pandemic accelerated the development of this industry,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday.

Founded in 2014 and backed by Abu Dhabi Capital Group and Tiger Global Management, Missfresh is the latest Asian company to cash in on a record boom in U.S. capital markets.

Rival Dingdong has also filed with U.S. regulators to list its shares with a target valuation of over $6 billion, while Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is looking to raise as much as $4 billion in New York in what is likely to be this year’s biggest IPO.

Chinese companies collectively raised $12 billion from U.S. listings last year, which is more than triple the amount raised in 2019, according to data from Refinitiv. This year, they are likely to surpass the amount raised in 2020.

J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, CICC and China Renaissance were the lead underwriters for Missfresh’s offering. (Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru and Sophie Yu in Beijing; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)