11 July 2016 – Microsoft Venturing Fund, Exits for Multiple Companies and Investment News plus more

People

Rich Miner helped to launch Google Ventures in 2009 as general partner but seven years later, he’s dropped down to a venture partner position so he can concentrate on a secretive edtech project within the Google organisation.

Microsoft Ventures continues to build up its team, the latest recruit being Matthew Goldstein who comes from VC firm Trinity Ventures where he was principal

Funds

Microsoft expands its corporate venturing activities by forming a $92m fund to invest in Brazil-based agribusiness technology startups.

Kellogg is just one of the packaged food producers to launch corporate venturing units in the past year, and we spoke to its vice-president of investor relations Simon Burton about the formation of its new Eighteen94 Capital subsidiary and where the funding will go.

Hanmi hands over $8.7m to corporate venturing unit

University

Four universities partner Mercia

MIP reinvestment from Mercia

Government

IPO for Draper Esprit

Exits

Recruit Holdings has bought classified job listings platform and search engine Simply Hired for an undisclosed amount.

Two of conglomerate Legend Holdings’ investment affiliates – Legend Capital and Hony Capital – helped invest $15m in Chinese tyre manufacturer Shandong Linglong Tyre Co in 2010, and they’ve now exited in a $390m IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Genomic medicine developer Syros Pharmaceuticals floated in the US last week, and since then its shares have risen in price by almost 50%, from the IPO price of $12.50 to $18 as of close of trading yesterday.

Another gene therapy developer, GenSight Biologics, had less luck when it tried for an IPO in the US market last year, cancelling an offering set to raise up to $70m. The Novartis-backed company has now set its sights on more modest goals, and will aim to raise $44m in an IPO in its home country of France, with its existing backers set to buy almost $19m of shares in the offering.

China-based Android app store Wandoujia was valued at $1bn in early 2014, not long before Alibaba reportedly offered to buy it for $1.5bn. Two years on, the e-commerce firm looks to have netted a bargain by agreeing to acquire Wandoujia for a reported $200m in a deal that will boost its internet services business.

Speaking of valuation drops, India-based fashion e-commerce platform Jabong is in talks with a range of prospective buyers over an acquisition that will allow co-founder Rocket Internet to exit.

Cybersecurity spinout Quadmetrics acquired by Fico

Vyclone, a Los Angeles-based social video creation and collaboration app, is shutting down.

Investments

Installment buying platform Qufenqi has changed its name to Qudian and raised $449m on the way to an IPO, just over three years after it was founded.

e-Shang raises $300M Corporate Minority round

Autonomous car startup Zoox has just raised $200m in funding, according to Business Insider, despite operating in super-stealth mode.

WuXi PharmaTech is among the investors to have put up $150m of series A funding for CStone Pharmaceuticals, a China-based startup looking to develop treatments for oncology, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, haematology and autoimmune diseases, with a particular focus on immuno-oncology.

Media operator Network18 first invested in Bigtree Entertainment, the owner of cinema and live entertainment ticketing platform BookMyShow, in 2007 and it has returned to once again take part in its latest funding, an $81m round that values the company at more than $440m.

SoftBank-backed budget hotel room booking platform Oyo Rooms is set to raise $61m from existing investors at a $460m pre-money valuation as part of an expansion drive that will involve it growing its presence in areas like bed and breakfasts and homestays.

SmartNews, a Japan-based mobile news aggregation app, has raised $38 million in Series D funding. Development Bank of Japan led the round, and was joined by SMBC Venture Capital and Japan Co-Invest.

University

Cyber threat detection and defense software provider Darktrace has secured $65m at a $400m valuation, four times that at which it last raised funding, in July 2015.

Government

Temasek Holdings investment in internet of things


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

18 April 2016 – Didi Kuaidi, Alibaba, Khazanah Nasional, Intellia Therapeutics, Novartis, Google Ventures and more

Deals

Global Corporate Venturing

Didi Kuaidi is said to be approaching a $1.5bn close for its latest round.

It’s also been a particularly busy week for Alibaba, the e-commerce giant that makes no secret out of its ambitions to be a company that will eventually span three centuries.

First, the company paid $1bn for a 67% stake in e-commerce platform Lazada in a deal that included $500m of secondary investment.

Alibaba went on to lead a $1.25bn round for China-based online food ordering platform Ele.me with a $900m commitment. The remaining $350m came from its affiliate Ant Financial.

UCar, a chauffeured ride service, secured $568m in a round led by Alibaba.

Meanwhile, Salesforce and WPP invested in a $600m round for business analytics software provider Domo. The company is reportedly gearing up for an initial public offering.

Global Government Venturing

Khazanah Nasional, the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia, has led a $170m series D round for social gaming platform Garena.

Global University Venturing

U-Multirank has put EU and US universities neck and neck in its ranking depending on the criteria applied.

Funds

Global Corporate Venturing

Rakuten initially put up $100m for its Global Investment Fund in 2014 but the Japan-based company has now doubled the capital for the fund.

Robert Bosch injected $170m in a third fund for its Robert Bosch Venture Capital unit.

Illumina has also boosted its CVC efforts. The company pledged $100m to an independently managed firm dubbed Illumina Ventures.

Global Government Venturing

An interesting cross-over between government and corporate venturing this week in the form of the €183m ($208m) Forbion Capital Fund III.

Exits

Intellia Therapeutics is rushing towards an IPO at an impressive speed. Launched less than 18 months ago, it has filed for a $120m IPO after raising $85m over two rounds from backers including Novartis.

More disappointing news for Google Ventures, Advance, Cocoa Cola and Cirque du Soleil, whose portfolio company Backplane, a Lady Gaga-affiliated social networking company, shut down and sold its assets.

Moves

Ana Sirbu, a manager at Google Capital who specialised in fintech, has joined working capital provider BlueVine to oversee its financial management and growth strategy.

Akihiko Okamoto, head of human resources provider Recruit’s corporate venturing unit Recruit Strategic Partners since 2011, has been appointed corporate executive officer.


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