26 September 2016 – Deals for LeEco and Airbnb, Finance Wales Launches Wales Business Fund plus much more

Deals

LeEco, has announced a $1.08bn funding round backed by Lenovo and Macrolink, and will use the funding to further develop LeSee, an autonomous electric car it is working on with Aston Martin and Faraday Future among others.

Airbnb has reportedly closed an $850m round.

Grab has picked up $750m in a SoftBank-led series F round.

U51.com, China-based credit card management platform backed by e-commerce company JD.com, has closed a $310m series C round that values it at $1bn.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance provider Metromile has been relatively quiet on the funding front, but all that changed yesterday when it disclosed $191m in equity financing it has received in the past two years.

Solar film producer Heliatek has secured some $89m in financing, including about $47m in series D equity funding that will be used to scale up its manufacturing capacity.

Funds

A total of 51 companies and institutional investors have collectively provided R1.5bn ($112m) of funding for a South Africa-based fund that will invest in small and medium-sized (SME) businesses.

Thailand-based financial services firm Kasikorn Bank will establish a strategic investment fund of undisclosed size during the fourth quarter of 2016 to invest in fintech services and products.

South Korean entertainment company Huayi Brothers, a subsidiary of China-based Huayi Brothers Media, is set to launch a $45m CVC arm to invest from as early as the end of the month.

Trumpf, a German industrial product manufacturer, launched a corporate venturing unit called Trumpf Venture which aims to build up a $45m portfolio over the next five years.

Baidu, China’s answer to Google, is reportedly putting together a $150m fund to invest in businesses developing content that could be distributed on its media offerings.

GE Healthcare has put together an accelerator called Five.Eight in order to back startups developing technology that can benefit patients in developing regions.

Australia’s industry minster Greg Hunt has hinted at a $380m fund, which would be the third VC fund launched through the country’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, following the $150m Csiro Innovation Fund and $380m Biomedical Translation Fund.

Finance Wales meanwhile officially launched its Wales Business Fund, a $177m investment vehicle that will provide equity and debt to businesses already located in Wales or willing to move there.

Vietnam also popped up on our radar last week with news that it is set to establish a government venturing fund to co-invest in local startups and help create more of an ecosystem.

International Finance Corporation is looking to invest $25m in Maison Capital’s inaugural US dollar-denominated fund, which is targeting a $200m close.

Exits

Corporates Itochu, Yahoo Japan, FISL and Kodansha are set to exit Uzabase, developer of an online business database and curated news app, in a flotation on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Market next month.

Dermatology product developer Novan has become the latest healthcare company to go public, raising $45m in a Nasdaq IPO.

People

Hearst Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of the eponymous US-based media group, which has restructured after the departure of its president, putting Kenneth Bronfin and Scott English in charge and building out its international network.

Andreas von Richter has left Ecomobility Ventures, the VC firm set up by Total, Orange, Peugeot and SNCF, to join another firm backed by a range of corporates, Aster Capital.

Jim Lussier, managing director and head of corporate venturing unit Dell Ventures, has left to run his own advisory and venture capital firm ahead of computer maker Dell’s merger with EMC.

Simon Johnson, previously senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, has joined Rivers Capital Partners as head of strategic debt funds.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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