20 November 2017 – SoftBank Uber Investment Finally Happening

Deals

People have been waiting for SoftBank’s proposed investment in Uber to be confirmed, and it now appears as though it’s happening, after Uber revealed it has come to an agreement with a consortium featuring SoftBank and Dragoneer over a deal.

Consumer and information robotics developer UBTech is in the process of raising $400m in a Tencent-led round set to value it at about $4bn, according to the South China Morning Post.

There are several prominent online car marketplaces in China and one of them, Huashenghaoche, has become the latest to close a nine-figure round. Minsheng Financial Leasing, the vehicle leasing branch of China Minsheng Bank, has invested $150m in the company, which also offers car leasing options, and whose existing investors reportedly include JD.com and Dongfeng Motor Group.

Maoyan, which agreed in September to merge with certain assets of another China-based online ticketing platform, Weiying, has received $150m in funding from Tencent, the internet group that is also one of Weiying’s key investors.

Elsewhere in China, Particle, the owner of personalised news aggregation app Yidian Zixun, has raised $112m in funding in a round that included government guidance fund Long De Cheng Zhang Culture Communication.

GV has led a $107m series D round for immuno-oncology drug developer Arcus Biosciences that included existing backers Taiho Ventures and Celgene, taking its total funding to $227m.

SIG-backed peer-to-peer lending platform 9f has raised an undisclosed amount in a series C round it claimed was sized in the nine-figure range.

Temasek, the Singapore state-owned investment firm, has led an $87.5m series D round for Poshmark, a social fashion marketplace backed by Shea Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of JF Shea.

Graphcore, the creator of a machine intelligence processing unit, has raised $50m in a series C round that included Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Samsung Catalyst Fund and Dell Technologies Capital, all of which also backed its $30m series B just five months ago.

Funds

Aster Capital, the French VC firm sponsored by corporates Solvay, Alstom and Schneider Electric, has closed just over $280m in financing from undisclosed backers, bringing the overall capital it has under management to almost $590m.

On GUV, Johns Hopkins University joined forces with US-based healthcare investment firm Deerfield Management to launch a $65m commercialisation fund called Bluefield Innovations aimed at the university’s therapeutic research.

On GGV, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), the country’s sovereign wealth vehicle, provided a cornerstone investment to a €250m ($294m) patient capital fund for Ireland-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Exits

China-based online consumer lending platform Qudian had some notable success in its US IPO last month, raising $900m after it floated well above its range.

Yixin Group, the automotive e-commerce and finance platform spun out of BitAuto in 2014, has generated $867m in a Hong Kong IPO that also represented an exit for investors Tencent, JD.com and Baidu.

LexinFintech, the Chinese operator of consumer lending and instalment buying platform Fenqile, has filed for a $500 initial public offering.

Mashable was valued at $250m as of its last funding round, but with no additional funding forthcoming, it has been forced into a sale to Ziff Davis for only $50m.

Corporates emerged practically unscathed from the Theranos disaster, but CapitalG, the growth equity unit formerly known as Google Capital, has found itself in a sticky situation with healthcare clinic advertiser Outcome Health.

On GUV, we had two news about IPOs. First, US-based immunotherapy developer Arsanis, backed by research institute European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s investment arm EMBL Ventures, set its pricing range at $15 to $17 – meaning it could raise $61m if it floats at the top of the range.

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, a US-based biopharmaceutical spinout from University of Pennsylvania, meanwhile raised $150m in its IPO, floating on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

On GGV, OnPoint Technologies, the strategic investment vehicle for the US Army, has exited US-based fabless semiconductor producer InVisage Technologies following its acquisition by electronics producer Apple.


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

10 April 2017 – Lyft Raises $500m & Unusual IPO for Spotify Plus Much More

Deals

It feels like the whole Flipkart/Snapdeal funding/merger saga’s been going on forever by this point but news continues to flow out of the respective camps, the latest being that Flipkart could well close between $1.2bn and $1.5bn in funding from eBay, Tencent and Microsoft next week.

On-demand ride platform Lyft has added almost 100 US cities to its network already this year and has now added another $500m of equity funding to its coffers.

Automotive trading software provider Souche.com has raised $180m in a series D round that included CreditEase’s New Financial Industrial Fund.

Alphabet-backed brokerage app developer Robinhood has pulled in new funding in a DST Global-led round that reportedly values it at $1.3bn.

India-based e-grocer BigBasket has reportedly entered talks with Tencent, Fosun and Amazon for a round that would be sized between $110m and $150m, and which would value it at $1bn, more than twice the valuation of its last funding, a $150m series D round that closed a year ago.

Existing investors GV and Sequoia Capital have co-led a series C round that provided more than $90m for secondary storage technology developer Cohesity, and which valued it at more than $500m.

Another Alphabet investment subsidiary, CapitalG, meanwhile has led an $81.5m series D round for Looker, a data analytics platform capable of curating large amounts of data to provide enterprise users with valuable insight into their organisation.

China-based Wecash has raised $80m in a series C round co-led by SIG that will enable it to add an online lending facility to its credit scoring platform, which has some 80 million users.

Fresh off the high that was Intel’s $15bn offer to acquire autonomous driving technology developer Mobileye, the company’s co-founders are now setting their sights on an initial public offering of another one of their ventures – OrCam Technologies, which has developed smart glasses that are able to identify street signs and read text and dictate it into the user’s ear.

Northwestern Mutual’s corporate venturing arm has participated in a $25m series C round for healthcare booking and billing platform Amino that took the company’s total equity financing to almost $45m.

SoftBank has reportedly rescinded between $150m and $200m in debt financing it was set to provide to portfolio company Snapdeal.

On Global University Venturing, US-based marketing technology developer ActionIQ has attracted $13m in a series A round that included Stanford University, through its Stanford Engineering Venture Fund.

And on Global Government venturing, Singapore Technologies Telemedia, a wholly-owned investment subsidiary of Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek, invested $89m in US-based cybersecurity company Armor. Armor was previously majority owned by investment firm Stephens.

Funds

Clean vehicle technology producer BorgWarner has provided $10m for US-based venture capital firm Autotech Ventures as part of an overall strategic investment plan. Autotech supplies VC funding to startups developing software, services or electronics technology for use in connected, autonomous and energy-efficient vehicles and mobility services.

Legend Capital, the venture capital firm formed by China-based conglomerate Legend Holdings, has raised more than $400m for its seventh fund. The $400m represents the fund’s hard cap, according to Private Equity International.

Southern New Hampshire University has partnered venture firm Rethink Education to create a $15m seed fund targeting early-stage edtech enterprises.

South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning will set up a 113.5bn won ($102m) fund for startups and VC firms in the biotechnology sector.

Enterprise Ireland, the export credit agency of the Irish government, is set to make up to €44m ($47m) in additional funding available to seed and early-stage companies.

Iran’s sovereign wealth fund Iran Foreign Investment Company will invest an undisclosed amount into the healthcare and technology sectors.

The government of Canada has outlined the next steps for its Innovation and Skills Plan, including an additional C$200m ($149m) for the Strategic Innovation Fund over a three year period, bringing it to C$1.26bn.

The BC Tech Fund, managed by Kensington Capital Partners invested an undisclosed amount into Lumira Capital IV, a new healthcare and life sciences venture capital fund managed by Lumira Capital.

Exits

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals has bought rare disease therapy developer Vtesse for $200m in cash and stock, allowing Pfizer Venture Investments and Lundbeckfond Ventures to exit.

Data management software provider Cloudera has finally publicly filed for its IPO, setting an initial target of $200m.

Speculation about a Spotify IPO has been ongoing for years but reports now suggest it might take an unusual route to the public markets, listing its stock but not actually issuing any new shares or raising money.

Pharmaceutical firm Astellas Pharma is set to acquire Belgium-based drug discovery company Ogeda for €800m ($853m), providing an exit to Société Régionale d’Investissement de Wallonie, the state-owned investment company for the Wallonia government in Belgium that took part in a €16m series B round in 2015 and a $12.8m series A round in 2012.

Regulation

The UK government is set to announce tax break reforms to ensure that entrepreneurs benefit from the tax incentives, rather than property investors.

An amendment to Germany’s law on competition restrictions proposed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has been approved by the federal council, known as Bundesrat.


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

13 February 2017 – Used Vehicle Marketplace Uxin Raises $500m and Much More

Deals

Mobile wallet operator Mobikwik has raised more than $120m from an investor base that includes corporates Net1, Cisco, American Express, GMO and Mediatek, and is currently in talks with investors for a round that could value it at up to $1bn, CEO Bipin Preet Singh has told Reuters.

View has been developing its Dynamic Glass, which tints to help control light and temperature in a building, since 2007 and has now added $100m in funding in a round that included $50m from Nuveen affiliate TIAA Investments.

Urban logistics services provider Shansong Express has raised $50m in a series C round co-led by SIG Asia that will be spent on growth and product development.

Alphabet subsidiary GV has led a $45m series C round for metal 3D printing technology developer Desktop Metal that included fellow corporate venturing units BMW i Ventures and Lowe’s Ventures. Desktop Metal, now valued at $350m according to the Wall Street Journal, has raised approximately $97m in total and its previous investors include General Electric and Saudi Aramco.

Mojo Networks, a 13-year old company that provides cloud wifi services to large businesses, has raised $30m in series E equity financing and debt, with strategic partner Alpha Technologies among the participants.

Cisco Investments has co-led a $30m series C round for Exabeam that took the cybersecurity platform developer’s overall funding to $65m.

On Global University Venturing we’ve had Tsinghua Holdings, a subsidiary of Tsinghua University, leading an $18m series B round for THG Ventures, a China-based cancer diagnosis and therapy company.

We also have Leeds University, which has spun out Dietary Assessment, which has developed a tool to enable researchers and health professionals to monitor diet and analyse food and drink consumption with a view of helping reduce diet-related conditions such as diabetes.

Indiana University meanwhile has established Digital Health Solutions to exploit a software that helps paediatricians make better use of electronic health records by collecting and analysing questions about a child’s health and flagging potential health issues.

On GGV, India-based online automotive classifieds service CarTrade, has raised $55m in funding co-led by Singaporean government-owned investment firm Temasek.

Funds

Legend Capital, the Chinese venture firm sponsored by Lenovo owner Legend Holdings, has raised $243m for a fund it is looking to close at $375m, according to a regulatory filing.

In Southeast Asia meanwhile, ride ordering service Grab has committed to providing at least $100m for Indonesia-based startups as part of a $700m investment initiative in the country.

Indian consumer electronics producer Micromax is set to the be the anchor investor in a venture capital fund called Orbis Capital, and is in the process of securing limited partners that will increase the fund’s size to $100m.

Frontline Ventures, a VC firm based in the UK and Ireland, closed a €60m ($65m) fund on Tuesday with support from investors including the European Investment Fund.

Greece on Monday launched a call for financial institutions and private investors to participate in its VC fund Equifund.

Government-owned export credit agency Enterprise Ireland’s €175m ($185m) seed and venture capital programme, the state-owned €8bn Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and the European Investment Fund have committed capital to VC firm Seroba Life Sciences’ €100m third fund.

And finally, Russia Direct Investment Fund, the country’s government venturing arm, has said it expects more than $1bn in additional funding by the end of 2017 as its peer Qatar Investment Authority pledges to increase the size of its co-investments alongside RDIF.

Exits

Kuaishou, the China-based developer of a photo and video-sharing app similar to Instagram and Snapchat, is planning an IPO in the US in the second half of 2017, undisclosed sources have told TechCrunch.

Sophos has agreed to acquire Invincea in a deal that will give an exit to Dell Ventures, just three months after the unit took part in a $10m round for the anti-malware software developer.

Detsky Mir, a Russia-based children’s retailer backed by the Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF), raised 21.1bn rubles ($355m) yesterday in its initial public offering on the Moscow stock exchange. RCIF is a joint initiative between sovereign wealth funds China Investment Corporation and Russian Direct Investment Fund.


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

15 August 2016 – VR and Food Delivery Investments, GV People Moves and more

People

Friday was Bill Maris’s last day at GV, the corporate venturing unit he helped to set up for search engine Google in 2009. But it is a new start for David Krane, who is taking the CEO position at GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) and who will have a tough act to follow in Maris.

Eze Vidra, who helped GV set up its aborted European branch in 2014, has taken the chief innovation officer role at clinical trial connection platform TrialReach.

Vosik Shamsiev, a venture partner at Japan-based corporate venturing unit TEL Venture Capital since 2014, is leaving to pursue opportunities in Canada.

Citi’s strategic investment subsidiary has hired Travis Skelly from venture capital fund FinTech Collective as a senior vice-president. No announcement as yet on Debby Hopkins’ replacement.

Joydeep Bose joined Cisco from Intel Capital in 2007 and oversaw its corporate venturing activities in the Asia Pacific Japan region. D

Funds

Telstra and Telekom Indonesia form investment pact

Infosys lines up $15m Stellaris commitment

Exits

Wal-Mart has agreed to acquire Jet.com in a $3.3bn cash and share deal said to be the largest ever acquisition of an e-commerce company, and which will be marked down as a big win for investors including Alphabet and Alibaba.

CME Group looks like it’s secured a decent exit from deep learning technology provider Nervana Systems, just over a year after its corporate venturing vehicle, CME Ventures, took part in a $20.5m series B round.

In another sizeable acquisition, Myriad Genetics has agreed to buy precision medicine developer Assurex Health for up to $410m, giving exits to Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Naspers to squeeze out Citrus Pay acquisition

Protagonist Therapeutics has raised $90m in an IPO that gave exits to pharmaceutical firms Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Pharmstandard, which collectively held a 45% stake in the company.

Investments

CVRx, the producer of an implantable treatment for heart failure and resistant hypertension, has sealed $93m in equity funding.

Torax strengthens with $25m

Moderna Therapeutics closed the largest round ever by a VC-stage drug developer in January 2015, and one of the investors in that round, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, has invested another $140m to take its stake in the mRNA therapeutics company to 9%.

Turner has led a $45m round for female-focused digital media company Refinery29 as part of a strategic collaboration that will involve it developing video content for Turner’s TV channels.

The Walt Disney Company had been set to team up with Major League Baseball in a funding round for daily sports betting platform FanDuel last year but pulled out at the last minute. The two have now formed a partnership of a different kind, with Disney agreeing to pay $1bn for a 33% stake in BamTech, the online video streaming platform spun out by MLB. BamTech will also set up a paid video subscription platform for Disney subsidiary ESPN as part of the deal.

Andy Bechtolsheim (Sun cofounder and Google’s angel), and Diane Greene (VMware cofounder and Google board as head of cloud) along with corporates Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers back Xperiel, a US-based provider of a mobile app development tool that works with Internet-connected equipment in sports stadiums and other facilities, $7m round.

Deliveroo raised $100m in November and has added $275m less than a year later with a series E round featuring Nokia Growth Partners.

Healthcare concierge service Accolade has added $70m from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Madrona Venture Group to the $22.5m in series E funding it raised from McKesson Ventures and Independence Health last year, taking its overall financing to almost $150m.

Comcast targets Interactions in $56m round

Axial capitalises on Comcast backing to raise $14m

NextVR closes an $80m series B round at a pre-money valuation of $800m.

Kaltura has been at the online video game longer than NextVR and is gearing up for an IPO, raising $50m from Goldman Sachs’ Private Capital Investing group.

Yunnex, the Chinese developer of an advanced, connected point-of-sales system, has secured $45m in a series B round backed by one of its customers, fast food chain Ajisen Ramen.

Corporates dish up another $30m for iFood


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

25 April 2016 – Arvind Sodhani, Alibaba, JD.com, Baidu, Gensights Biologics, Gree, Mars Petcare, Birmingham University and more

VC Creation

Arvind Sodhani, former president of Intel Capital, has formed a new VC firm called Silver Trail Ventures and, ahead of a keynote speech at the Global Corporate Venturing/DLA Piper Corporate Venture Capital Strategy Seminar in Tokyo, warned that for corporate venturers, innovation and disruption is more important than business development.

Deals

Digital medicine developer Proteus Digital Health has added $50m of series H financing to an equity cash pile.

GV finds happy Medium for $50m series C.

Alibaba sealed two huge deals last week, making billion-dollar investments in Ele.me and Lazada, and in this week’s Big Deal we take a look at the firm’s investment strategy and what those those transactions might mean going forward.

UCWeb presses start on $20m Indian gaming fund.

JD.com has paid $200m for a 47.7% stake in logistics service company Dada Nexus in a deal that will involve merging its own e-commerce subsidiary, JD Daojia, into the company, which operates across 37 Chinese cities.

Baidu has raised $155m in a round led by TV and film production company Shanghai New Culture Media,

Cabify has become the latest ride hailing service to raise significant funding, pulling in $120m from a Rakuten-led round that values it at $320m post-money.

China-based Yaochufa spcialises in short haul holidays and local breaks but is planning to expand its range of destinations after closing an $85m series D round.

Exits

GenSight Biologics filed for an IPO back in July 2015 but a few months later the Novartis-backed eye disease therapy developer has withdrawn citing market conditions. The decision, made at roughly the same time as another biotech company, Bavarian Nordic, did the same, is a worrying omen for the IPO market, which is still yet to recover from a considerable lull, meaning CVC exits will likely be harder to come by this year.

Tencent-backed eJiaJie completes Neeq listing.

Hearst follows up its initial investment in Complex by agreeing to jointly acquire the company with telecom firm and partner Verizon.

Asahi Shimbun goes native with Somewrite acquisition.

Oracle draws up $50m Crosswise acquisition.

Nielsen-backed VC firm Pereg Ventures is set to exit device data provider Crosswise in a $50m deal.

Mars Petcare acquires Whistle from Nokia Growth Partners.

Funds

Gree forms $12m virtual reality fund.

The social media company’s GVR Fund features Colopl and Mixi as limited partners.

CincyTech receives healthy interest for fourth fund.

Care providers Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and UC Health are among the limited partners.

Global University Venturing

Alta Innovations: the future of success: In the second part of our series, GUV editor Thierry Heles takes a closer look at how Birmingham University is building a complete ecosystem for spinouts, startups and late-stage companies.

GUV supporting a survey of 80 university venturing funds sponsored by one of our subscribers, Kaust.

Global Government Venturing

EIF and PPM Oost initiate $227.5m fund.

Dutch regional development agency PPM Oost and the European Investment Fund have launched a $227.5m second Dutch Venture Initiative fund of funds.


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