9 May 2016 – Ford invests in Pivotal Software, Chehejai gets charged up, Adobe buys RayVio, Lenovo establishes a fund and many people moves

Investments

Ford led a $253m round for Pivotal Software, a spinout of EMC and VMWare. These two corporates also joined the most recent round, alongside Microsoft and existing backer GE.

Chehejia is now $120m better off after investors including water pump producer Leo Group injected capital.

A deal that was simultaneously the biggest for Global Government Venturing and one of the largest on Global Corporate Venturing is Farfetch’s $100m series F round.

On Global University Venturing, the week’s most significant deal was Boston spinout RayVio, which closed a $26m series C round featuring semiconductor manufacturing equipment producer Applied Materials through its corporate venturing arm Applied Ventures.

Exits

Adobe originally backed content curator Livefyre as part of a $32m series D early last year and has obviously been so impressed it’s now acquired the company outright – a decision that allows Salesforce to exit.

Over on GGV, 3D printing designs marketplace Pinshape has been purchased by 3D printers manufacturer Formlabs, giving an exit to investors such as BDC Capital, the investment arm of government-owned Business Development Bank of Canada, who had contributed to Pinshape’s $850,000 seed funding.

Ecomachines Ventures has decided to sell its stake in Warwick spinout Recycling Technologies to an unnamed private investor.

Funds

Lenovo established a $500m corporate venturing fund dubbed Lenovo Capital that will seek out up to 20 investees per year. That’s in addition to plans to spin out up to 10 startups this year.

Heritage Group has received $220m for its latest Healthcare Innovation Fund, which has the rare privilege of being entirely backed by 15 strategic investors in the form of regional US care systems.

Over on GGV then, we have news that sovereign wealth funds now hold $6.51 trillion in total assets.

On the university side, the largest fund this week is a $6m vehicle set up by a graduate of UC Berkeley.

People

On GCV, news emerged that 7-Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of retailer 7-Eleven, is in limbo following the departure of its two co-founders Rob Chumley and Raja Doddala.

Derek Norman has stepped up to take over from Alex Steel as head of agricultural company Syngenta’s investment unit. Norman has been selected for the GCV Rising Stars 2016 list, and we recommend heading on over to globalcorporateventuring.com to read more about his impressive career.

Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, the corporate venturing subsidiary of Merck & Co, has hired Francesca Domenech Wuttke as a managing director.

And then we have Paul Ark, who’s been appointed head of venture capital for SCB Ventures, the $50m strategic investment fund formed by Thailand-based financial services firm Siam Commercial Bank.

Daniel Balmisse moves on from his executive director role at BPIfrance to join Cathay Capital Private Equity as its chief operating officer.

Temasek has reshuffled its firm significantly following internal restructuring and the establishment of new units. The appointments include Chia Song Hwee and Dilhan Pillay as presidents and Fidah Alsagoff, Michael Buchanan, Png Chin Yee and Juliet Teo as senior managing directors.

Duke University has appointed Robin Rasor as new director of its Office of Licensing and Ventures from July 1st. Rasor comes from Michigan University where she was managing director of licensing within the university’s Office of Technology Transfer.


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

2 May 2016 – Sirin Labs, Weiying, Ant Financial, Nexthink, HTC, Neva Finventures, European Investment Fund and more

Investments

Sirin Labs, developer of a smartphone that will combine military-grade security with the features of a consumer device, secured $72m in a seed round.

Entertainment ticketing platform Weiying joined an ever-growing list of startups capable of attracting huge stacks of money. The company raised $693m in a series C+ round.

Alibaba’s financial services spinout Ant Financial closed a monster $4.5bn series B round.

On Global University Venturing, the most money was collected by Nexthink, a spinout of Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne that has raised $40m.

Funds

Outdoor advertising company Focus Media has injected $200m in a $400m in a fund aimed at sports startups taking on the Chinese market. The fund will be co-run with FountainVest Partners.

Smartphone brand HTC meanwhile put $100m into an accelerator and fund that it has dubbed Vive X after its virtual reality headset.

Italy-based Intesa Sanpaolo has created unit named Neva Finventures. Neva has received an initial $34m in funding though should increase to $113m in future.

On Global Government Venturing, Germany and EIF have officially launched their $255m Coparion fund that was first announced in March. The focus of the fund is technology-driven companies that have been around for less than a decade.

IPOs

Gene editing technology developer Intellia Therapeutics is getting ready to go public. The life sciences business has set the terms for its IPO that could bring in $90m, while Novartis and Regeneron will inject $55m investment in a concurrent private placement.

Exits

Idinvest Partners, the private equity firm spun out of Allianz, is receiving a decent return on its $30m investment in digital health technology developer Withings.

SumUp and Payleven, two mobile payment services providers, have decided to merge to take on competitors including US-based Square.

Fidelity is set to exit Stemcentrx, which is working on treatments for cancer stem cells, when the company is acquired by AbbVie.

People

Issam Dairanieh joined BP 18 years ago and has been an active corporate venturer for 11, working his way to the very top of BP Ventures. And now he’s looking for new challenges, announcing that he’ll leave the energy company to lead a firm that offers capital to technologies that cut carbon emissions and to create a sustainability-focused infrastructure funds.


“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

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

11 April 2016 – Ant Financial, Alibaba, Human Longevity, Slack, Africa Internet Group, the IFC and more

Deals

Global Corporate Venturing

By far the biggest deal of the past week comes from China, where Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is set to raise more than $3.1bn at a valuation of $60bn.

Alibaba meanwhile also injected an undisclosed sum in China-based food delivery service Ele.me. The investment was first reported in December 2015 and pegged at $1.25bn at a $4.5bn valuation, though details haven’t been confirmed yet.

Another company that’s collected a lot of cash is real estate services provider Lianjia, which has hit a $6.2bn valuation following a $927m round backed by Tencent and Baidu.

Meanwhile, genomics research company Human Longevity, which launched two years ago with $70m from a consortium featuring Illumina, has added a $220m series B round that saw Illumina return and Celgene and GE join.

Slack, the work communications platform, received $200m in fresh funding from investors such as GV and Comcast Ventures, boosting its total to $540m. GCV news editor Robert Lavine took a closer look at the deal in a Big Deal feature article, which I do recommend checking out on globalcorporateventuring.com.

Africa Internet Group, the e-commerce holding group formed by Rocket Internet in 2012 to oversee a variety of platforms in Africa and the Middle East, has added Orange to its investors, securing $85m as part of a strategic partnership agreement.

Global University Venturing

The week’s biggest deal was a $46m series D round for diagnostics platform developer Quanterix. I wrote a Big Deal feature article about the round, which you can find on GlobalUniversityVenturing.com

Global Government Venturing

International Finance Corporation joins Kreditech’s series C round with an $11m commitment, boosting the round to $105m.

Exits

Global Corporate Venturing

Onefinestay, which closed a $40m series D backed by Intel and Hyatt Hotels in June 2015, also received a $73m investment from AccorHotels as part of the deal.

Mars Petcare acquired Smart dog collar developer Whistle for a reported $117m.

Aeglea Biotherapeutics raised $50m in an offering on Nasdaq providing investors Novartis and Eli Lilly with exits.

Global Government Venturing

Oneview Healthcare, an Ireland-based healthcare software developer backed by Enterprise Ireland, has listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), raising A$62.4m ($48m). The company priced its shares at A$3.58, resulting in a market cap of A$208.5m.

Wikihow, a US-based online learning community, has acquired Enterprise Ireland-backed Guidecentral, a US-based company that provides how-to guides and tutorials for DIY projects. Financial terms of the transaction have not been revealed. Guidecentral will continue to operate as a stand-alone brand.

Funds

Singapore-based venture capital firm Monk’s Hill Ventures has closed its first fund at $85m, securing networking equipment manufacturer Cisco, telecommunications firm Telstra and internet company Yahoo Japan as limited partners.

Teralys Capital, a Canada-based fund manager, has held the final close of its Teralys Capital Innovation Fund at C$375m ($288m) that was established under Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP) in collaboration with the government of Quebec.

People

Basil Darwish has left Citi Ventures, after five years in senior vice-president roles, for Wells Fargo where he will act as director of strategic investments.

Jack Young, formerly of Qualcomm Ventures and number two in the 2016 Rising Stars List of Global Corporate Venturing, is joining Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners. If you want to know more about Young’s decision to join DTCP, check out our interview with him on globalcorporateventuring.com

Kiara Bechta-Metti, who previously led commercialisation efforts at Australian government-owned scientific research organisation Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), will join Adelaide University this month.


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

04 April 2016 – LeSports, Yiguo, Betterment, Jucero, Emulate, M-Files, IDG Ventures India, IBM Ventures, Siemens Venture Capital, Imperial Innovations, Oakland University and more

Deals

In the corporate venturing world, the biggest deal happened in China, where sports media company LeSports closed a massive $1.2bn round backed by HNA Group.

Another seemingly big round was closed by online grocer Yiguo, which didn’t reveal an amount but boasted that it’s larger than its competitor Womai’s $220m series C round in October last year.

Robo-advisor Betterment meanwhile attracted $100m in series E funding, more than doubling its total capital to $205m.

Juicero, an organic juice company backed by conglomerate Alphabet and food producer Campbell’s Soup, has boosted its total funding to $100m after attracting $70m for its series B round.

Biotech Emulate, which is working on organs-on-chips technology, secured the week’s most cash with a $28m series B round.

Finland-based document management company M-Files meanwhile raised $36m in its series B, which was backed by government-owned investment firm Finnish Industry Investment.

Exits

IDG Ventures India was less interested in investing and is instead considering selling its remaining stake in e-commerce Flipkart. IDG Ventures never actually invested in Flipkart, but gained shares when Flipkart bought its portfolio company Myntra, a fashion e-commerce business, for some $300m in 2014.

Funds

Infuse Ventures is seeking $150m for a new fund dubbed Bharat. Infuse’s backers include oil company BO, oleochemicals manufacturer Godrej Industries and World Bank subsidiary International Finance Corporation.

Germany announced two new funds totalling more than $810m. The two funds have been launched by Germany’s federal ministry for economic affairs and energy, the European Investment Fund and development bank KfW. The cash is split across a $252m Coparion Fund and a $560m ERP/EIF Growth Facility.

Japan has announced its intention to invest more than $1bn through four university venture funds. Tokyo University is set to receive the largest chunk with $450m and plans to use most of the money for a fund of funds.

People

IBM has announced that George Ugras will replace Claudia Fan Munce as managing director of IBM Ventures.

Mike Majors is leaving Siemens Venture Capital, where he co-founded a $100m Industry of the Future Fund, to become managing partner at venture firm Data Point Capital.

Martin Knight stepping down from his position as executive chairman of Imperial Innovations.

Oakland University appointed Michael Long as its new tech transfer mentor-in-residence for IP development and commercialisation.


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

21 March 2016 – Intel Capital, Qualcomm, Spoonrocket, Corvus Pharmaceuticals, Hutchison China MediTech, GenomeDx, LendInvest, DouyuTV, Cainiao and more

Exits

Intel Capital is reportedly looking to sell up to $1bn worth of its venture assets.

Qualcomm meanwhile looks to have scored a major exit after General Motors agreed to buy driverless vehicle technology developer Cruise Automation in a deal reportedly sized north of $1bn. Cruise, which was founded in 2013, had disclosed only $18m in debt and equity financing.

Just days after announcing it was shutting down, VC-backed SpoonRocket has been acquired by iFood, a delivery service in Latin America that has raised more than $60m from Brazil-based Movile Internet and Warehouse Investimentos, among others.

Corvus Pharmaceuticals, an oncology therapy developer backed by Roche and Novo, filed for a $115m IPO in January but has subsequently set a range between $70m and $80m. It had raised $108m in venture capital over the past two years.

Hutchison China MediTech (Chi-Med), a China-based healthcare group backed by conglomerate Mitsui, raised $101.3m when it floated on Nasdaq yesterday.

Investments

GenomeDx released a prostate cancer testing product last week and has followed it with $25.4m in series C funding, according to an SEC filing. The funding represents the first to be publicly disclosed – in terms of size anyway – for the company, which is backed by investors including Merck’s Global Health Innovation fund.

Having received £22m from Beijing Kunlun in June last year, LendInvest raised £17m from VC firm Atomico, bringing its total debt and equity financing to more than £200m.

DouyuTV, a streaming service focused on the livestreaming of video games, has raised $100m in a series B round led by Tencent, which reportedly provided more than $60m.

Alibaba’s financial services affiliate Ant Financial is said to be raising money at a $60bn valuation but its logistics spinout Cainiao isn’t doing too badly either, having raised a reported $1.54bn in a round that values it at $7.7bn.

Diversified conglomerate HNA Group has agreed to invest RMB1.2bn ($185m) in online sports streaming platform Le Sports as part of a series B round that could reach $1.08bn, according to a regulatory filing.

Ring, a US-based smart doorbell developer backed by insurance provider American Family Insurance and home builder JF Shea, has raised $61.2m in a series C round featuring Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

University College London cancer treatment spinout Autolus licences additional technology from the university as it raises $57m in its series B round.

Biotechnology startup Aprea, a spinout of Karolinska Institute that is backed by a range of public investors, has raised the biggest round for a Sweden-based life sciences company in a decade.

People

QB3, University of California’s research institute and life science accelerator, loses its associate director as Douglas Crawford steps down.


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

14 March 2016 – Ant Financial, Flipkart, WeWork, Astroscale, Precision Ocular, Replay Technologies, Lasergen, Stanford University and more

Deals

Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of Chinese giant Alibaba, which is seeking up to $3bn at a valuation of $60bn while it reportedly prepares for an IPO next year.

An equally impressive, if significantly less $1bn is being sought by India-based e-commerce company Flipkart, which is hoping to get a commitment from Alibaba and conglomerate Fosun for the round. Flipkart’s valuation for this round is actually down from its $15bn tag last year, when the company obtained $700m. Claims differ on the current valuation, but it appears to be in between the $11bn to $14bn range, though some have said that it could even be below $10bn.

WeWork, a shared workspace provider, climbed the ranks to sixth most valuable venture-stage business in the world when it claimed $430m in fresh funding at a $16bn valuation.

Japan-based Astroscale raised $35m from the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan. Jafco and other unnamed entities also participated in the round, which will be used by Astroscale to send a satellite into orbit that will track space debris in preparation for later missions that will collect that debris, which is becoming an increasing problem for safe space travel.

The biggest deal on Global University Venturing meanwhile was a $19m for Precision Ocular that was led by Imperial Innovations. Precision Ocular is working on treatments for retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.

Exits

Replay Technologies is set to be acquired by Intel for an estimated $175m a mere week after closing a $13.5m round led by Deutsche Telekom. Replay, a 3D filming technology producer, had secured $27m in total funding and the acquisition is also providing an exit to Samsung, which had invested in 2014.

Lasergen, a genome sequencing platform that received $80m from lab equipment provider Agilent Technologies last week in return for a 48% stake. Agilent’s also secured a three-year option to purchase the remaining shares for an additional $105m. Until then, the two companies have agreed to collaborated on a workflow product based on Lasergen’s technology.

Meanwhile, RusnanoMedinvest celebrated an exit when Syndax Pharmaceuticals floated on Nasdaq for $52.8m. The IPO followed some $155m in funding.

Stanford University secured an exit through an acquisition, when Immucor purchased spinout Sirona Genomics for an undisclosed amount. Sirona has developed a platform that uses three algorithms to build a database for mapping and managing genomic assessments such as blood type without the need for secondary testing.

Funds

When it came to funds, Cisco took the top spot last week with a three-year $500m initiative named Deutschland Digital. Cisco will invest the cash both directly in startups and in VC funds. It announced Deutschland Digital on the same day that it unveiled a $150m fund that will help foster an ecosystem around its cloud collaboration platform Cisco Spark.

Lan Kwai Fong, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate, is similarly looking at a fund with a target size between $300m and $500m, to be managed by its private equity unit LKF Capital. The fund marks the first time LKF is raising external capital and will focus on Chinese companies in the lifestyle and consumer industries.

Another fund to come out of Hong Kong is the $257m Innovation and Technology Venture Fund. Although first announced in January, the autonomous region only revealed the fund’s size in its budget for 2016/17 now. The fund will focus on local startups and hopes to make more capital available to them by matching private investments.

Parkwalk Advisors, which already manages several funds for Cambridge University, announced the University of Cambridge Enterprise Fund IV, which, much like the previous funds, enables alumni and investors to back Cambridge spinouts. The funds usually co-invest alongside Cambridge University.

Moves

Kaushik Anand, a growth equity investor at corporate venturing subsidiary Google Capital, is set to lead its investments in India, the Economic Times reported on Monday. He first joined Google Capital in June 2015 and has so far been based at its California headquarters.

IDG Ventures Korea has seen Matthew Lee depart to co-found a new venture dubbed Cognitive Investment. Lee had been CEO and managing partner of the unit since 2007.

Franceska Banga is set to step down from her position as CEO of New Zealand Venture Investment Firm later this month. The fund, which has over $200m under management, was set up by New Zealand’s government in 2001 and headed by Banga since then. Steven Joyce, minister of economic development in New Zealand, is using the change in leadership to review the fund’s performance and assess its structure.


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

7 March 2016 – Google Capital, Alphabet, Magic Leap, Snapchat, Mercari, AXA, Slack, Souqcom, Vertex, Purdue University, Oregon State University and more

Deals

We tracked 132 deals in the month. While this would be the lowest month for deal activity since September 2014, it is not much below activity in many of the months during the last year and a half, while it is significantly above most months in 2014 as well as prior years. We also typically track some deals after a month ends.

The most active corporate during the month was holding company Alphabet, which invests through its two venturing units Google Capital and GV, which matches trends in recent years, where it has regularly been one of the most active investors.

The most active corporate partner among venture firms was Arch Venture Partners, which invested alongside US-based healthcare company Johnson and Johnson, US-based asset manager Fidelity, China-based healthcare company Wuxi Pharmatech, real estate company Alexandria, and healthcare company Pfizer.

The largest deal in February was the $793.5m series C round raised by US-based augmented reality technology developer Magic Leap, in a deal led by e-commerce firm Alibaba.

The biggest exit of the month was the sale of Ravello Systems, the US-based virtualisation software developer, which was sold to Oracle for $500m. Ravello had raised $54m in venture funding, including $28m in a January 2015 series C round co-led by Qualcomm and SanDisk’s corporate venturing units: Qualcomm Ventures and SanDisk Ventures.

Snapchat, backed by Tencent, Alibaba and Yahoo, boosted its series F round to more than $710m and its overall funding to more than $1.3bn with $175m from Fidelity.

Mercari rises with $75m round.

AXA invested €75m in e-commerce holding vehicle Africa Internet Group last month and the round has now been boosted to €300m ($326m) with commitments from MTN, Rocket Internet and Goldmn Sachs.

Messaging platform Slack has so far raised $340m from investors including GV but is now seeking an additional $150m in the wake of it ramping up staff numbers and launching a TV advertising campaign.

Influitive, the creator of an advocacy marketing platform, raised about $30m in July and has now attracted new funding to take its NTT Docomo-backed series B round to almost $39m. The capital helped to support the acqui-hire of scheduling app developer Ironark Software.

Souq.com has shown that e-commerce growth in Asia isn’t restricted to the usual suspects of China, India and Southeast Asia, raising more than $270m at a reported $1bn+ valuation.

Electronic component manufacturer Murata Manufacturing Company led a $19m series B round for US-based power conversion semiconductor developer Arctic Sand Technologies, a spinout of MIT. more

People moves

Ben Brabyn, former COO of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Innovation Gateway, has been appointed head of UK-based technology accelerator Level39.

Michael Fernandes has left Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional to become a partner and co-head of South and Southeast Asian operations at Leapfrog Investments. At Khazanah Nasional, he was manager of the healthcare portfolio, valued at $7bn on the Singapore stock exchange.

Monika Gierszewska has been appointed as director of incubator SetSquared’s Bristol branch. SetSquared is a collaboration between the universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. (more)

Funds

Vertex Venture Holdings, the wholly-owned investment arm of Singapore government’s state fund Temasek, has held the final close of its Vertex Ventures Israel fund at $150m. The fund had a target of $100m.

InnovFin, a joint initiative of EIF and EIB, has signed a deal to provide $100m to LeumiTech to support Israel-based businesses.

Purdue University has set up a $10m seed-stage fund to build on its successes from last year, when Purdue created a total of 40 new businesses, incl. 25 spinouts. The fund will be jointly managed by the university’s startup accelerator, Purdue Foundry, and the University Development Office.

Oregon State University launches fund with Rogue Venture Partners that is expected to raise between $10m and $20m and will invest in companies within the state. OSU will provide a fifth of the capital.


“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.