With Facebook and Netflix stumbling without recognised corporate venturing units, it has been interesting to see the other big four US internet companies, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Apple, with powerful CVC investments report or predict strong results.
Alphabet was the most clear-cut as it reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings last Monday, driving Alphabet shares to a new all-time high the following day. It generated adjusted earnings per share of $11.75 versus the Wall Street consensus of $9.59 for the quarter, according to cable news provider CNBC. Alphabet also posted a $1.06bn gain in its equity investments for the time period, which translated into $1.17 EPS of the outperformance.
With the growth of investment in the VC space, it’s often not just the hard transactions that raise an eyebrow but also prospective deals, and so it is today. Rocket Internet has built up a mass of e-commerce holdings by focusing on Europe and the emerging markets, but is reportedly now eyeing the US and raising between $1bn and $2bn for a corporate venturing fund that will focus on that region.
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New TV, the short-form video producer formed by entertainment vet Jeffrey Katzenberg and overseen by his WndrCo company, has closed $1bn in funding, $200m of which was supplied by large entertainment companies such as Disney, Warner Bros, 21st Century Fox and Entertainment One.
Elsewhere in China, facial recognition software provider Megvii has raised upwards of $600m from investors including Alibaba and will use the cash to spearhead an expansion of its technology in the retail space.
WeWork launched its WeWork China offshoot a year ago with $500m in series A funding, and WeWork China has now doubled that, raising another $500m in a series B round co-led by five investors including both SoftBank and SoftBank Vision Fund.
Tencent is reportedly lining up an investment of $300m to $500m in India-based short-term accommodation provider Oyo Rooms that will support the latter’s expansion in China, a market now responsible for almost all its overseas revenue.
Genetic testing services and research provider 23andme was valued at $1.75bn last September when it last raised funding, but that valuation is surely higher now it’s closed a $300m investment by GlaxoSmithKline in connection with a collaboration agreement.
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Cancer radiotherapy technology and services provider Allcure was spun off with the telemedicine assets of hospital management services provider Concord Medical Services in 2015, and three years later the company has raised a reported $103m in series B funding.
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Group buying platform Pinduoduo has become the latest Chinese tech company to go public in the US, floating at the top of its range to raise $1.6bn, just three years after it was founded.
Pinterest meanwhile is looking to launch an initial public offering in a year’s time in order to capitalise on a boost to its advertising stream that is set to double ad revenue to $1bn in 2018.
Huya had a fairly successful IPO in the US a few months back and now its chief rival in China’s livestreaming space, Douyu, is looking to follow the same path, preparing for an offering expected to net it between $600m and $700m.
Ascletis has priced a $400m initial public offering in Hong Kong in the middle of its range, a month after its lead hepatits C treatment received regulatory approval in China.
It’s been a long wait for fuel cell system supplier Bloom Energy, which was founded in 2001 and first touted for an IPO at the latter end of that decade.
Allakos, which is developing antibodies to treat white blood cell-related conditions, has had one of the year’s more successful IPOs, pricing its shares above the range to raise $128m, before watching its stock almost double in price in the first two days of trading.
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