13 November 2017 – TransferWise in $280m Big Deal


Nio, the autonomous electric vehicle developer formerly known as NextEV, has raised in excess of $1bn in a Tencent-led round that valued it at about $5bn.

Chinese peer-to-peer lender WeLab has accumulated 25 million registered users and claims to have processed some $28bn of loans. It’s also raised $220m in debt and equity financing in a series B+ round featuring Alibaba’s Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and financial services firms Credit Suisse and China Construction Bank.

Media group Graham Holdings has led a $150m round for Intersection, a company that is converting phone booths into kiosks that provide wifi, local information and mobile device charging facilities.

One of the more interesting trends when it comes to startups is the entry of showbiz figures into company building. Gwynneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba have each founded successful companies, and now Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am has entered the fray. I.am+ initially focused on consumer electronics but is entering the enterprise sector with a chatbot called Omega and $89m of funding that was closed in March but revealed this week.

On GUV – and on GGV – we have Instart Logic, a US-based cloud computing optimisation platform backed by the Stanford University-backed Stanford-StartX fund, which has closed a $30m funding round led by ST Telemedia, a subsidiary of Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek.


SoftBank is blowing through its Vision Fund reserves at a fantastic pace, but its latest earnings reports indicates it has increased the fund’s size to $97.7bn by investing a further $4.5bn itself.

Partners Healthcare has sourced $105m, including $50m investments from two of its hospitals, which will go to its Partners Innovation Fund, a vehicle that supports technology based, at least partly, on IP owned by its subsidiaries.

Plastics manufacturer Plastic Omnium has supplied an undisclosed amount of capital for a fund being raised by Aster Capital, the venture capital firm jointly operated by fellow coprorates Alstom, Solvay and Schneider Electric.

Nothing new on GUV when it came to funds, but on Global Government Venturing, France is preparing for €1bn ($1.2bn) of capital from a tie-up announced yesterday between United Arab Emirates state-owned Mubadala Investment and French state-owned investment arms Bpifrance and CDC International Capital.


Yixin Capital, the operator of an online platform that provides financing for car buyers, has filed for an IPO in Hong Kong that could raise up to $867m if it floats at the top of its range. Investors in the company, which was spun out of automotive e-commerce marketplace BitAuto, include Chinese internet giants Tencent, Baidu and JD.com.

Spero Therapeutics has meanwhile completed its own IPO, raising $77m despite floating at the bottom of its range.

It’s been less than three weeks since Meituan-Dianping closed a $4bn round that valued it at $30bn, but the Chinese local services platform is reportedly already eyeing the US for an IPO that could take place in early 2018.

Razer meanwhile has gone the other way, and has now priced a Hong Kong IPO that will raise $528m.

InflaRx, a biotech company developing monoclonal antibodies to treat inflammatory diseases, will float today having raised $100m in its initial public offering.

Sogou has become the latest Asian internet company to go public on the New York Stock Exchange this year, floating at the top of its range and raising $585m.

Bytedance, the owner of news aggregation app Toutiao, has paid $800m to acquire Musical.ly, the developer of a music-based social video app with more than 60 million users.

On GUV, Giaran, a US-based artificial intelligence (AI) technology developer spun out of Northeastern University, was acquired by Shiseido Americas, a subsidiary of cosmetics company Shiseido for an undisclosed amount.

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

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