29 October 2018 – Bytedance Raises $3bn at $75bn Valuation

Deals

Bytedance has agreed to raise $3bn in funding from investors including SoftBank at a $75bn valuation that will make it the most valuable independent VC-backed company in the world.

Manbang, the trucking services marketplace also known as Full Truck Alliance, is reportedly in advanced discussions with Tencent and SoftBank over a $1bn round that would value the Chinese company at $9bn.

Huashenghaoche is one of several automotive marketplace operators competing in China’s used vehicle industry, and has secured $210m in a series D round that included JD Finance, the financial services affiliate of e-commerce firm JD.com.

Elsewhere in China, artificial intelligence and internet-of-things technology provider Terminus Technologies has raised $173m in a round that included image and facial recognition software producer SenseTime.

Plaid Technologies last raised money more than two years ago, in a $44m round led by Goldman Sachs that reportedly valued it at $250m.

Aikucun, a fashion e-commerce platform that specialises in surplus stock, has received $110m in series B-plus funding from Sinovation Ventures, GGV Capital, Zhongyuan Capital and BA Capital.

Synthego, the creator of a genome engineering platform for gene and cell therapy developers, has also secured $110m, in a Founders Fund-led series C round that took its total funding to $160m.

Precision oncology drug developer TP Therapeutics has raised $80m in a mezzanine round that included Lilly Asia Ventures and SR One, the corporate venturing units that co-led its last round, a $45m series C in May last year.

Satellite launch services startup Vector has secured $70m in a series B round that will support the company as it looks to begin producing its rockets.

Enable Injections, a US-based medical device developer, has achieved the first close of a series B round featuring Ohio Innovation Fund, the university venture fund formed by Ohio State University and Ohio University.

And on GGV, GoEuro, a Germany-based transport booking service aimed at consumers, has raised $150m in a funding round backed by Singaporean government-owned investment firm Temasek, Kinnevik and firm Hillhouse Capital.

Funds

Brightlands Agrifood Ventures, a venture fund focused on agritech developers connected to the Brightlands campuses in the Netherlands, has achieved a second close at $22.7m thanks to three additional limited partners.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund the Public Investment Fund has contributed $500m to the Russia-China Investment Fund.

Exits

Brazil-based payment technology provider StoneCo is gearing up for one of the year’s biggest IPOs. It will raise about $1.1bn if it floats at the top of its range, and has attracted a range of cornerstone investors that could take a large chunk of those shares.

Online travel services provider Tongcheng-eLong is looking to raise $1bn in an initial public offering in Hong Kong.

Innovent Biologics has priced its Hong Kong IPO near the top of its range to raise $421m.

And Chinese vehicle marketplace, Tuanche, has meanwhile filed for a $150m initial public offering in the US. Bertelsmann Asia Investments has been a Tuanche backer since the company’s 2013 series B round and now owns almost 10%.

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, a US-based orphan disease treatment developer exploiting research from Duke University, has floated on the Nasdaq Global Market in a $46m initial public offering.

Endpoint security software provider CrowdStrike was valued at more than $3bn as of its last round, a $200m series E backed by Alphabet unit CapitalG four months ago, and it’s reportedly looking to increase that valuation in an IPO tentatively slated for next year.

CloudFlare has meanwhile begun preparing for its own IPO and could claim a $3.5bn valuation, sources have told CNBC.


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

12 December 2016 – Tinder creates Swipe Ventures, Australia launches $150m Csiro fund and Much More

People

Mary Kay James, previously a managing director at DuPont Ventures, has joined Tyson Foods as the US-based meat processor unveils a $150m corporate venturing unit dubbed Tyson New Ventures.

Mike Dimelow, former vice-president of strategic business development at semiconductor technology developer Arm, has left to co-found a venture capital firm called Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV).

University Corner

CIC names Williamson investment director.

Cambridge alumnus Williamson has joined the university venturing fund after 20 years in the US, most recently at True North Venture Partners.

Funds

Back in October, SoftBank partnered the government of Saudi Arabia’s investment arm Public Investment Fund for a $100bn fund. SoftBank has hit some troubles since then, booking a $555m loss from its Indian portfolio last month, but that doesn’t seem to have reduced interest in the SoftBank Vision Fund, which the internet group’s CEO Masayoshi Son has now said is set to be oversubscribed.

Ascension’s corporate venturing subsidiary has closed its fourth fund at $255m thanks to the support of 13 corporate peers.

Wistron, a Taiwan-based original design manufacturer, has joined the ranks of corporate venturers with a $20m fund that it set up in partnership with US-based VC firm Fenox Venture Capital.

Tinder, the dating app that connects users with each other once they’ve both swiped right on each other’s profile, is jumping into the corporate venturing world with Swipe Ventures, a unit that will be headed by Sean Rad, up until now the CEO of Tinder.

PSA enters Business Lab. The car manufacturer is set to conduct corporate venturing activities through the new unit.

Maris boldly goes to $230m fund. Bill Maris, co-founder of GV who left the unit earlier this summer, is raising a $230m fund that will focus on the healthcare sector.

Partech concludes $107m fundraising effort.

University Corner

The tech transfer office and Parkwalk Advisors launched the latest $3m Enterprise Fund just ten months after Fund IV was opened to investors.

Government Department

Australia launches $150m Csiro fund

Ben Franklin boosts startups in Philadelphia with $6m

Exits

Meitu, the developer of an app that lets users retouch their selfies, initially targeted up to $1bn in proceeds from an initial public offering in Hong Kong when it filed in August 2016. That target has dropped several times since, first to $800m last month and now to $629m. The company had obtained approximately $500m in total funding from investors including corporates Sina Weibo and International Data Group, but has struggled to monetise its offering and in the first half of the year posted a $40.5m loss.

SportsHero is taking a different approach to the stock exchange, as the company prepares a reverse takeover with its shareholder Nevada Iron, an Australia-listed mineral extraction company.

Trivago books IPO trip.

AbbVie is celebrating an exit thanks to Sienna Biopharmaceuticals which has acquired biotech company Creabilis for up to $150m.

Cinepapaya dances the Fandango.

Paktor picks up 17 Media.

Beepi, a peer-to-peer used car marketplace, appears to have collapsed after a strategic investor – reportedly Saic Motor – decided to pull out.

Government Department

Bpifrance loses $20m with Viadeo collapse.

Creo collects $25m ahead of Aim flotation.

University Corner

Citim materialises acquisition.

Investments

GE spins out Menlo Micro with $18.7m

VW mobilises spinout Moia

Face++ recognises $100m for series C

Juhe.cn computes $52m series C

Finicity aggregates $42m series B

SnapLogic has added a $40m series F round to its coffers just a year after Microsoft took part in a $37.5m series E.

KeyMe doesn’t look like it is having any trouble securing cash. The digital locksmith technology developer, which lets users scan their keys and upload them to the cloud to print copies at kiosks, has added $25m in funding.

3M’s portfolio company Impel Neuropharma has signed up investors for a $36m series C round, for which it has obtained an initial $21m and will receive the remainder upon reaching certain milestones.

University Corner

Spinouts: a marriage made in heaven – or hell?

Government Department

Lumos Global glows with record $90m fundraising.


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