20 February 2017 – Ford Invests in Argo AI, Enterprise Ireland backs 4 Funds and Much More

Deals

SoftBank has agreed to pay $3.3bn to acquire Fortress Investment Group, an investment manager with some $70bn of assets under management.

Jera, the joint venture formed by Japanese energy utilities Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, has invested $200m in India-based solar and wind energy producer ReNew Power, taking a 10% stake.

Lytro, the developer of a light field camera and imaging platform it claims can film the highest quality and resolution VR content on the market, has raised $60m in a round that took its overall funding to $200m.

Vietnamese e-commerce platform Tiki, which like Amazon started out selling books before branching out into other consumer products, is reportedly in the process of raising between $50m and $60m in a series D round expected to close by the end of this year.

Rhythm, a biopharmaceutical company developing peptide therapeutics to treat rare genetic deficiencies, has raised $41m in a mezzanine round backed by Ipsen and Pfizer Venture Investments.

Baidu Ventures has made its first investment, contributing to a $27m series B round for 8i, the developer of an app that allows users to record and project photorealistic holograms.

Logsitics company DB Schenker has led a $25m series D round for freight shipping marketplace uShip, doubling the company’s total funding in the process.

General Motors has led a funding round for advanced metal products developer NanoSteel that, according to a regulatory filing, is sized at $15m.

Soundtrack Your Brand, a Sweden-based business-to-business music streaming platform, raised $22m today from a consortium co-led by Industrifonden, the investment arm of Sweden’s government.

Exactuals, the US-based developer of a software platform that organises entertainment payments, has secured $10m in a series A round that featured featured Stanford University’s StartX Fund.

Funds

Nasdaq is reportedly setting up a corporate venturing arm in order to fund startups with technology beneficial to its own offerings.

Tedco, the state-owned Technology Development Corporation of Maryland, has partnered financial services Harbor Bank to launch a fund aimed at black entrepreneurs.

Mubadala Development and International Petroleum Investment (IPIC), two sovereign wealth funds of Abu Dhabi, are set to be merged into a single vehicle named Mubadala Investment Co.

The Netherlands’ ministries for Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation jointly announced a €2.5bn ($2.1bn) government venturing fund called Invest-NL.

The government of India has approved a Rs68.31bn ($1.02bn) fund of funds aimed at the electronics and IT sectors, with an initial capital commitment of Rs6.81bn.

The government of Romania has signed a memorandum of understanding to establish an investment arm called Sovereign Development and Investment Fund.

Exits

Snap has set the terms for an IPO that will give exits to Alibaba, Tencent and Yahoo, and which will raise $3.2bn if the company floats at the top of its range.

Visterra, which is developing antibody-based therapeutics for diseases such as influenza and dengue fever, has withdrawn its IPO, more than a year after initially filing.

Grab, the ride hailing platform that serves as Uber’s main competition in Southeast Asia, is reportedly set to make the first deal out of the $700m Indonesian investment drive it announced last week, acquiring mobile payment platform Kudo for more than $100m.

Supply chain management firm E2open has acquired Steelwedge, a business planning software producer that counts property developer JF Shea as an investor, in an all-share deal.

Beepi, the operator of an online marketplace for used cars, is winding down after raising almost $150m in funding, including $70m in a 2015 round led by automotive manufacturer SAIC that valued Beepi at $500m.

O-Flexx Technologies, a Germany-based thermoelectrics technology developer, has been acquired by automotive parts manufacturer Mahle for an undisclosed amount, providing an exit to NRW Bank, the state-owned economic development bank of North Rhine-Westphalia.


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

22 August 2016 – Autonomous and Smart Car Investments, $30bn Fund in China and more

Funds

China has just reportedly approved the establishment of a state-owned $30bn VC fund in Shenzhen.

ONGC to drill into startups with $15m fund

Uber and Digi to experiment with Malaysian ideation lab

Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), a university venturing fund commercialises science and technology advances made at Cambridge University, has raised £75m ($90m).

Prudential Retirement, a business unit of New York-listed Prudential Financial, has closed its seed stage-focused corporate venturing group, Gibraltar Ventures, so the company can build a new innovation strategy around design, acquiring and partnering with startups.

People

Lambert, who is chair of our Shift conference in NYC on October 28 in partnership with the NVCA, became managing partner with Sand Hill Road-based private venture capital firm Westly Group.

Jerneja Loncar, who has been an entrepreneur-in-residence at car maker General Motors’ GM Entrepreneurs after nearly four years at GM Ventures until the start of 2014, has been planning her next step after successfully running one startup.

Jon Lauckner, chief technical officer at General Motors and president of GM Ventures, who will be attending the GCV-NVCA SHIFT: Accelerating Corporate and Venture Partnerships conference.

Exits

General Motors reportedly made advances to portfolio company Lyft in the past few weeks to propose an acquisition, an offer Lyft turned down in order to raise more funding.

Twitch has acquired Curse for an undisclosed amount, roughly a year after the gaming media and community platform received $30m in funding from Riot Games.

Japan-based Rakuten has acquired the assets of Bitnet, a US-based bitcoin wallet startup, for an undisclosed amount.

Tencent is reportedly set to exit contextualised services search app Vurb through a $110m stock and cash acquisition by Snapchat.

Investments

It’s been a big week for internet group Tencent, with news emerging of three sizeable deals in which it’s involved. The company has first of all led a $227m series C for game livestreaming platform Douyu TV – essentially a Chinese version of Twitch – as part of a deal that will involve Douyu’s sports offering being absorbed into its own Qie Live platform.

Tencent also co-led a $175m round for India-based Hike, which is developing an all-purpose messaging app not too dissimilar to Tencent’s own WeChat platform, which connects to a huge range of e-commerce services in its home country of China.

Tencent enters Keep in series C+ round

Film and TV studio STX Entertainment has received an undisclosed amount of funding from investors including Chinese corporates Tencent and PCCW at a reported valuation of $1.5bn.

Ford has been upping its corporate venturing activity of late, investing $182m in Pivotal Software at one end of the scale and in a $6.6m round for Civil Maps at the other, as it seeks to strengthen its software capabilities on the way to the planned launch of its first autonomous car in 2021.

Chinese technology group LeEco continues to make a name for itself, diversifying into ever more areas, and now it’s raised $50m from conglomerate Macrolink for its smart car unit.

Amazon launched its $100m Alexa Fund just over a year ago, and the unit has now made its largest investment yet, as part of a $35m round closed by smart thermostat developer Ecobee.

Corporate venturing units Novo Ventures, Roche Venture Fund and SR One have co-led an $86m series A round for Tioma Therapeutics, which is working on a cancer treatment that will target the CD47 immune checkpoint inhibitor, with venture firm RiverVest Venture Partners.

Nutirinia, a developer of digestible insulin for infants, has raised $30m in a series D round featuring WuXi PharmaTech, taking its overall funding to more than $46m.

US-based cybersecurity software provider ID Experts closed a $27.5m round featuring BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, the corporate venture capital arm of health insurance provider Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Tekpea connects to EPM for funding

Colombia-based utility service provider Empresas Públicas de Medellín has invested an undisclosed amount in the IoT company through its FCP Innovation unit.


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

9 May 2016 – Ford invests in Pivotal Software, Chehejai gets charged up, Adobe buys RayVio, Lenovo establishes a fund and many people moves

Investments

Ford led a $253m round for Pivotal Software, a spinout of EMC and VMWare. These two corporates also joined the most recent round, alongside Microsoft and existing backer GE.

Chehejia is now $120m better off after investors including water pump producer Leo Group injected capital.

A deal that was simultaneously the biggest for Global Government Venturing and one of the largest on Global Corporate Venturing is Farfetch’s $100m series F round.

On Global University Venturing, the week’s most significant deal was Boston spinout RayVio, which closed a $26m series C round featuring semiconductor manufacturing equipment producer Applied Materials through its corporate venturing arm Applied Ventures.

Exits

Adobe originally backed content curator Livefyre as part of a $32m series D early last year and has obviously been so impressed it’s now acquired the company outright – a decision that allows Salesforce to exit.

Over on GGV, 3D printing designs marketplace Pinshape has been purchased by 3D printers manufacturer Formlabs, giving an exit to investors such as BDC Capital, the investment arm of government-owned Business Development Bank of Canada, who had contributed to Pinshape’s $850,000 seed funding.

Ecomachines Ventures has decided to sell its stake in Warwick spinout Recycling Technologies to an unnamed private investor.

Funds

Lenovo established a $500m corporate venturing fund dubbed Lenovo Capital that will seek out up to 20 investees per year. That’s in addition to plans to spin out up to 10 startups this year.

Heritage Group has received $220m for its latest Healthcare Innovation Fund, which has the rare privilege of being entirely backed by 15 strategic investors in the form of regional US care systems.

Over on GGV then, we have news that sovereign wealth funds now hold $6.51 trillion in total assets.

On the university side, the largest fund this week is a $6m vehicle set up by a graduate of UC Berkeley.

People

On GCV, news emerged that 7-Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of retailer 7-Eleven, is in limbo following the departure of its two co-founders Rob Chumley and Raja Doddala.

Derek Norman has stepped up to take over from Alex Steel as head of agricultural company Syngenta’s investment unit. Norman has been selected for the GCV Rising Stars 2016 list, and we recommend heading on over to globalcorporateventuring.com to read more about his impressive career.

Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, the corporate venturing subsidiary of Merck & Co, has hired Francesca Domenech Wuttke as a managing director.

And then we have Paul Ark, who’s been appointed head of venture capital for SCB Ventures, the $50m strategic investment fund formed by Thailand-based financial services firm Siam Commercial Bank.

Daniel Balmisse moves on from his executive director role at BPIfrance to join Cathay Capital Private Equity as its chief operating officer.

Temasek has reshuffled its firm significantly following internal restructuring and the establishment of new units. The appointments include Chia Song Hwee and Dilhan Pillay as presidents and Fidah Alsagoff, Michael Buchanan, Png Chin Yee and Juliet Teo as senior managing directors.

Duke University has appointed Robin Rasor as new director of its Office of Licensing and Ventures from July 1st. Rasor comes from Michigan University where she was managing director of licensing within the university’s Office of Technology Transfer.


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