08 January 2018 – Kicking Off 2018


WP Engine, a provider of digital experience software for online publishing platform WordPress, has raised $250m in funding from Silver Lake.

Health data analysis platform SomaLogic has closed its own large round, having raised funds from Nan Fung subsidiary Nan Fung Life Sciences and Madryn Asset Management to increase its latest round to $200m.

Smartphone and tablet maker Huaqin Telecom has been around since 2005 but has only just got around to raising series A funds, securing $136m in a round co-led by Intel Capital.

Alibaba has reportedly been in talks to invest in e-commerce logistics provider Xpressbees for 18 months in order to enhance an Indian portfolio that already includes Paytm, Snapdeal and BigBasket. Now it appears those discussions are near to getting a result, with Alibaba lining up a cash influx of up to $100m.

Personal Genome Diagnostics is developing genomic testing products for cancer and will use the proceeds from its $75m series B round to expand the availability of its oncology diagnostic tests for physicians.

CMAB Biopharm, a contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing services provider, has received $38m in a series A round co-led by BioBay, a biopharmaceutical industrialisation branch of China’s Suzhou Industrial Park.

On Global University Venturing, NexImmune, a US-based immuno-oncology developer based on research at Johns Hopkins University, closed a $23m series A round co-led by family office Barer & Son Capital and asset management firm ArrowMark Partners, while Piedmont Capital Partners, an investment subsidiary of real estate firm Piedmont Real Estate, also provided funding.


Pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim more than doubled the size of its Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund vehicle today to $300m and plans to open a second US office on the west coast in 2018.

Waves Platform, the developer of a platform that helps users build their own blockchain products, is raising a strategic fund called the Basics fund that will invest in innovative blockchain projects.

Japan-headquartered IT equipment producer NEC has partnered Tel Aviv University (TAU) and its venture capital arm, TAU Ventures, to form an Israel-based startup incubator called AlphaC.


There were a raft of biotech IPO filings at the end of 2017, the largest of which was by Solid Biosciences, a Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment developer that has set a $100m target. Solid’s shareholders include Biogen, and the proceeds from the offering will support research and development work for its lead drug candidate, a gene-transfer therapy called SGT-001.

Spotify has confidentially filed for a direct listing in the US that will give investors including TeliaSonera, Coca-Cola, Universal, Sony and Warner Music a chance to exit.

RestorBio, which is developing therapies for aging-related diseases, was co-founded by biopharmaceutical company PureTech Health in 2016 and has already filed for an initial public offering in which it is targeting $85m.

Didi Chuxing has increased its share of Brazilian ride hailing platform 99 to a majority stake. Didi Chuxing, which led a $100m round for 99 a year ago, reportedly paid $600m to hike its stake in the company from 30% to 90%, though it is unclear whether ally SoftBank, which invested $100m itself four months later, or fellow corporate Qualcomm exited through the deal.

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

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