23 January 2017 – $20m Series B-1 for Moon Express, Rocket Internet Capital Partners Fund Closes at $1bn and Much More

Deals

Chinese used vehicle marketplace Uxin has raised $500m in new funding, making it only the latest player in the sector to close a nine-figure round.

Mobile commerce platform Letgo has taken its overall funding to $375m since the start of 2015 with a $175m round backed by early investor Naspers.

Zoom Video Communications has launched the latest iteration of its cloud-based video conferencing platform and disclosed a $100m series D round that values it at more than $1bn.

Workspace provider UrWork has raised $58m from investors including property developers Junfa Group and Dahong Group in a round that reportedly increased its overall equity financing to about $175m.

Marketing data provider AppsFlyer has welcomed Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners as a new investor, completing a $56m series C round in the process.

InsideSales, developer of an AI-equipped online sales engine, has taken its overall funding to about $250m with a $50m series E round featuring existing backer Microsoft and new investor Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, the investment arm of the Irish government.

Tencent has led a $40.5m series D round for Xiaoshouyi, which is developing a customer relationship management platform not too dissimilar to that of Salesforce.

Moon Express is one of several companies competing for the $20m grand prize of Google’s Lunar X-Prize contest, and has raised $20m in series B-1 funding in a round featuring Autodesk.

Amra, a personalised medicine spinout of Linköping University, raised $9m in a series A round on Tuesday from investors including Stiftelsen Industrifonden, the investment arm of the government of Sweden.

Exits

ObsEva, a Swiss developer of therapies focused on women’s reproductive health, has set terms for a Nasdaq IPO that will raise approximately $97m if the company floats at the middle of the range.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is set to acquire data centre software producer Simplivity in a $650m cash deal that will provide an exit to corporate backer Swisscom.

International Data Group, one of the earliest firms to invest heavily in corporate venturing, has agreed to an acquisition by conglomerate China Oceanwide and IDG Capital, one of its own venture capital affiliates.

Cambridge Graphene, a graphene ink developer spun out of Cambridge University, has been acquired by advanced materials company Versarien for a total of £170,000 ($210,000), providing an exit to the institution’s tech transfer office Cambridge Enterprise.

Funds

Rocket Internet has closed its Rocket Internet Capital Partners fund at $1bn, a year after it reached its $420m first close.

Elsewhere in China, Concord Medical Services, the owner of a chain of radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging centres across the country, has formed a $150m healthcare fund in partnership with investment firm Zhongrong International Trust.

Speaking of healthcare funds, life insurance company Northwestern Mutual has launched a $50m corporate venturing vehicle called Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures it says will target technology or services that can boost financial security.

CreditEase, the owner of peer-to-peer lending platform Yirendai, has raised $32.2m for the first close of a venture capital fund that will invest in Israeli tech startups.

Paris-Saclay University this week achieved the first close of its €50m ($53m) seed fund thanks to contributions from investors including France’s public investment bank Bpifrance.

The Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative (TTSI), a program introduced by export credit agency Enterprise Ireland and managed by Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI), has received a €34.5m ($37m) boost from Enterprise Ireland.

The city government of Suzhou in China and private equity firm Shenzhen Capital Group have partnered to launch a RMB5bn ($732m) initiative dubbed Suzhou Hongtu Big Data Venture Capital Fund, China Money Network reported yesterday.

Bpifrance, the public investment bank of France, is the international leader for government venture capital firms backing technology companies, according to a report from research firm CB Insights.

Temasek, the investment arm of Singapore’s Ministry of Finance, came in second place, while GIC, the investment unit of Singapore Investment Corporation, rounded off the top three.

What’s interesting here, of course, is that the UK is sorely missing from the list. That’s in the same week that the country’s prime minister Theresa May said she would put immigration restrictions above the economic wellbeing of the country and is ready to walk away from the EU without any deal in place.


“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.