11 November 2019 – Marianne Wu Moves On From GE Ventures

The Big Ones

Marianne Wu, president of GE Ventures, has left the corporate venturing unit as the US-listed industrial conglomerate has agreed to sell 16 healthcare portfolio companies to an affiliate of Leerink Revelation Partners.

Over the past few years, China has – partially out of necessity – been responsible for a lot of healthcare innovation and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by international players. AstraZeneca is the latest corporate to want a slice of the action and the pharmaceutical firm is going all in with the launch of a $1bn fund it unveiled together with investment bank CICC. No word on how much money it’s put in, though AstraZeneca’s chief executive Pascal Soriot told Bloomberg his company wasn’t the majority investor. Expect to read about the Healthcare Industrial Fund a lot.

Also looking at $1bn is Japan-based accounting software provider Freee, which has confidentially filed for an initial public offering on the TSE Mothers Market and hopes to attain unicorn status. If the flotation goes ahead, it would provide exits to a long list of varied corporates, including Line, Mitsubishi UFJ, Nippon Life, Life Card, Salesforce, Sharp, Recruit, SBI, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and Chiba Bank, as well as the Toyota-backed Future Creation Fund.

Congrats to SetSquared sweeps UBI crown. SetSquared fended off competition from peers such as RMZ, Chalmers Ventures and Yes!Delft to seal UBI’s global university incubator award for a third time.

Funds

Air conditioner producer Daikin Industries has pumped $100m into a corporate venture capital unit dubbed Technology and Innovation Center CVC Office and plans to deploy the capital over a five-year period. The vehicle will make VC investments but will also house an accelerator and will look to launch new startups through a partnership with the University of Tokyo.

IAN closes $53m fund

Vives finds $27.7m for Inter-University Fund

Exits

Aerial technology developer Ehang has filed for an initial public offering expected to raise up to $500m if reports earlier this year are accurate. The Chinese company has raised $52m from investors including Shanghai International Group across two equity rounds and has set an initial $100m target. It’s one of several compatriots who have filed in the US and are looking to float in the coming weeks.

The biggest M&A exit is the $540m all-cash acquisition of Scout RFP by Workday, less than a year after the corporate’s investment unit Workday Ventures last invested in the sourcing platform. Salesforce Ventures and GV are among the exiting shareholders, having contributed to more than $60m in equity financing since Scout’s founding in 2014.

Corporate banking services isn’t an area that’s popped up a lot but Ebury has been making a name for itself with functionality such as mass payments in multiple currencies and foreign exchange risk management. That’s previously convinced financial services firm such as NIBC to invest and now Santander is getting in on the action with a $450m primary and secondary share purchase that gives it a majority stake – just about – of 50.1%. Ebury will continue to operate as an independent entity, and existing investors have also reinvested in the business.

Jask joins Sumo Logic

Deals

Riskified has built an e-commerce fraud prevention software that confirms legitimate customers in real-time to prevent fraudulent transactions, and its potential previously convinced Capital One Growth Ventures, Phoenix Insurance Company and NTT Docomo Ventures to invest. It’s now also attracted investors such as Fidelity to raise $165m in series E funding and push its valuation beyond $1bn.

Chinese antibody drug developer Akeso Biopharma has also been busy raising a big pile of cash, attracting $150m in series D funding co-led by pharmaceutical firm Sino Biopharmaceutical and with participation from K. Wah Group.

There are a range of companies out there trying to take the house sales process from the high street to an online marketplace, but HomeLight’s proposition is unique in that it scours more than 40 million real estate transactions and more than 1.4 million agent profiles to find the best realtor for a homeowner looking to sell.

Medical device manufacturer Peijia Medical hasn’t appeared on GCV’s radar up until now, but the company has been attracting capital since it was launched in 2012. Lilly Asia Ventures, which seemingly backed a series B of unspecified size in 2018, has also supported a $100m series C round announced by Peijia this week, and the money will help drive product development of the company’s devices to treat heart valve disease.

Almost 114,000 people are currently waiting for a transplant in the US alone, but if eGenesis is successful such lists may not be an issue anymore: the Harvard University spinout is using gene editing technologies to make animal organs compatible with human patients – a process known as xenotransplantation. It’s initially focusing on kidneys andhas attracted $100m in series B funding from investors including Leaps by Bayer to make the procedure a reality.

Geltor to apply for $100m

Shape boxes up $35.5m


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

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