07 May 2018 – Tencent Leads $820m Series C for UBTech

Deals

Baidu has spun off the likes of Baidu Video and Zuoyebang in recent years, and video streaming platform iQiyi, in which Baidu owned a majority stake, raised $2.25bn in an IPO in March. The latest deal involves the corporate’s financial services subsidiary, Du Xiaoman, which has raised $1.9bn from investors including Taikang, $1bn of which will go straight to Baidu.

Tencent has led an $820m series C round for consumer robotics developer UBTech that valued it at about $5bn.

Online education has been one of the most notable growth areas in China’s VC space and things appear to be heating up. VIPKid, the operator of a tutoring platform that utilises international teachers, is reportedly looking to secure $500m at a $3bn valuation, double that at which it raised money in a Tencent-backed series C round just eight months ago.

Indian insurance comparison portal PolicyBazaar is close to raising $200m in a round that will be led by a $150m investment by SoftBank Vision Fund.

SF Express, the largest player in China’s logistics sector, has invested $100m in Flexport, the operator of a freight services platform that covers land, air and sea along with adjacent services.

SoundHound raised $75m from a corporate-heavy investor group early last year, and now it’s added $100m from Tencent, Daimler, Orange, Midea Group and Hyundai Motor Company at a reported valuation of more than $1bn.

Masterclass, the online education platform equipped with a host of famous teachers, is reportedly on its way to closing a $70m series D round.

Roivant Sciences raised $1.1bn in a SoftBank Vision Fund-led round last August with a brief to develop and launch a series of offshoot companies.

On GUV, Crescendo Biologics, a UK-based immunotherapy developer spun out from University of Cambridge, closed a $70m series B round that featured commercialisation firm IP Group as well as EMBL Ventures, the investment arm of European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

Funds

Microsoft Ventures has invested in some 50 companies since it relaunched itself as a corporate venturing vehicle two years ago, but has run into identity trouble with people confusing the unit with the similarly-named network of accelerators its parent continues to run around the world. Its solution has been to rebrand to M12, while the corporate’s accelerator initiative will be renamed Microsoft ScaleUp.

The city government of Jerusalem is looking to launch a $130m venture capital fund to support local biotech startups in areas including medical devices and pharmaceutical technology. The government’s contribution to the vehicle would amount to $5.5m at most, with the remainder supplied by private investors.

Exits

Flipkart’s board of directors has approved a deal whereby Walmart will pay approximately $15bn for a 75% stake, according to Bloomberg.

Medtronic spinoff Inspire Medical Systems has gone public in a $108m initial public offering that also represented an exit for Johnson & Johnson.

Consumer electronics and IoT technology provider Xiaomi has officially filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong that sources told the South China Morning Post will be about $10bn in size, at a valuation of about $100bn.

Laser developer nLight has become the latest tech company to launch a successful IPO, floating above its range to raise $96m.

Mita, a US-based orthopaedic device spinout from University of Colorado, has been acquired by medical technology developer Stryker for an undisclosed sum.


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

04 July 2016 – Crispr investment, Siemens fund and more Intel Capital people moves plus more

News and Deals

Corporate

On GlobalCorporateVenturing.com, the week’s biggest news was the downfall of Zenefits, a US-based HR software provider that closed a $500m series C round backed by Comcast in May 2015. Not only has the company struggled to deliver on the predicted revenue, but it’s also run into serious regulatory issues.

Zenefits might not be in quite as bad a shape as Theranos, the biotech company whose technology was uncovered to be scientifically unworkable by Wall Street Journal several weeks ago, but I doubt that is of much comfort to any of the investors or the management.

Crispr Technologies has extended its series B round to $140m following a $38m investment.

Thrive Market, an organic produce subscription service, secured $110m in capital to boost its marketing efforts and expand the own-brand product range.

Government

Modern Meadow’s $40m series B round could be a game-changer for a very big industry: the company, now backed by Singaporean government investment firm Temasek, is creating leather in the lab using the building blocks of skin.

University

Allecra Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company has attracted $24m in a series B round featuring EMBL Ventures, the investment vehicle of research institute European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

Funds

Corporate and Government

Partech Ventures has closed its growth-stage fund at $440m with limited partners including BPIfrance, the public investment bank of France, as well as Renault, Carrefour, Ingenico, AG2R La Mondiale and CNP Assurances.

Siemens, which already operates a corporate venturing subsidiary and has popped up on our radar regularly, now has launched another unit, named Next47

University

Tsinghua Holdings, an investment firm solely backed by Tsinghua University, has revealed that it plans on providing $7.6bn to research efforts over the next five years.

Exits

Line, the Naver-owned messaging service, has set its IPO range between $26.50 and $31.50 and could potentially raise $1.1bn at a $6.6bn valuation.

Syros Pharmaceuticals floated below its range and brought in $50m.

Sungevity, which has attracted more than $210m in funding in about a decade, and is now merging with listed special purpose vehicle Easterly Acquisition Corporation. The deal gives an exit to GE, Lowe’s and Solon.

People

Intel Capital is still seeing a lot of change following Wendell Brooks taking over leadership. Ameet Bhansali, Anthony Lin, Trina Van Pelt and Bob Nunn have all been promoted to managing director positions, and are joined by Marcin Hejka, Ken Elefant and Ramamurthy Sivakumar who will also take crucial roles.

Comcast Ventures has lost Gavin Teo to B Capital, the VC affiliate of Boston Consulting Group. Teo had joined Comcast Ventures in 2012.

NTT Docomo Ventures has brought on board Takayuki Inagawa as a replacement for Nobuyuki Akimoto. Inagawa took over as head of the unit on Friday.

Paul Harvey, head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Europe, Middle East and Africa technology investment banking unit, has moved on to Octo Telematics to establish a corporate venturing division. Harvey will serve as executive chairman.


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