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filed for an IPO back in July 2015 but a few months later the Novartis-backed eye disease therapy developer has withdrawn citing market conditions.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

29 February 2016 – Tsinghua Unigroup and TCL Corporation fund, University of California and RNT Associates, Uxin, Didi Kuaidi, Razer, Nestlé, Qualcomm and more

Funds

The start of Mobile World Congress which saw Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), the venture capital firm sponsored by communications equipment maker Nokia, start a $350m fund that will invest in internet of things (IoT) technology companies.

Electronics manufacturer TCL Corporation and fabless semiconductor producer Tsinghua Unigroup are forming a $1.53bn corporate venturing fund that will invest in areas like electronics, TMT, Industry 4.0 and internet+. The corporates have put in $275m so far and will look to expand the fund as it invests. Unigroup is part of the main Chinese university Tsinghua that spoke at last year’s GUV: Fusion summit.

The office of the chief investment officer at University of California, which has joined with Ratan Tata’s RNT Associates to fund Indian startups and enterprises over the next 10 years.

Japan-based electronics conglomerates Omron and Ricoh will launch a ¥5bn ($44.5m) joint corporate venturing fund next month aimed at emerging technology sectors. The fund is also supported by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a ¥300bn public-private partnership backed by Japan’s government and 26 domestic companies, and financial services firm Sumitomo Mitsui.

Singapore’s backing of Red Dot to invest $150m in Israeli companies and Canadian institutions backing Avrio’s third late-stage fund – see more from Global Government Venturing in its round-up.

Investments

Real estate firm Mitsui Fudokan already operates ‘venture co-creation project’ Team 31 Ventures but made a bigger step into corporate venturing yesterday when it launched a $45m fund in partnership with investment firm Global Brain. Despite Fudokan’s core property business, the fund will invest in a wide range of sectors, across Asia, the US and Europe.

Online used car auction platform Uxin has raised some $430m in venture funding but the company is now beginning to make its own CVC moves, participating in a $45m round for salvaged car marketplace Fairlubo.

Other big deals were also in Asia, including Didi Kuaidi lining up another $1bn ride and Naspers to stay in Ibibo with $250m investment

Another unicorn, gaming accessory producer Razer, is meanwhile looking to follow up an Intel Capital investment in 2014 with a hefty series C round that will value it at $1.5bn.

Despite this year’s apparent slowdown, healthcare investment reached new high during 2015 as corporate involvement in the sector stayed strong while ‘crossover’ investment increased substantially, according to Jonathan Norris, managing director for Silicon Valley Bank’s healthcare practice, in an interview with GCV.

Corporates played a part in the increase too, with the most frequent participants being Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC), Novartis Venture Funds and GlaxoSmithKline subsidiary SR One. Tom Heyman, president of JJDC will be talking at our GCV Symposium 24-25 May so do join us then for his insights!

Effector Therapeutics boosting its series B round, having already been backed by investors including pharmaceutical firms GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis, among others.

Rani, which has created a process to convert injectable drugs into pills, has attracted capital from investors including AstraZeneca and Ping An, boosting its total funding to $70m.

Oscar Health Insurance, the operator of a personal health insurance platform, has reportedly raised $400m in a Fidelity-led round that valued it at $2.7bn. The round comes in the wake of a $32.5m investment by Google Capital in September 2015, made at a $1.75bn valuation.

Nestlé has invested $42.5m in biotech company Pronutria Bioscience, less than a year after it took part in Pronutria’s $39m series C round. The capital, provided by subsidiary Nestlé Health Science, took Pronutria’s overall funding to about $105m.

Exits

Wireless technology manufacturer Qualcomm and flash storage technology provider SanDisk will exit US-based virtualisation software developer Ravello Systems in an acquisition by computing technology producer Oracle. Oracle did not disclose the purchase price but a source familiar with the matter told VentureBeat it was “close to $500m”.

Probably smaller scale but Medical device maker SpectraScience has acquired the assets of Oncoscope, a US-based optical imaging system developer backed by industrial manufacturing equipment provider Applied Materials, for an undisclosed amount.