22 January 2018 – Alibaba Buys $3bn in Shares of Ofo


Alibaba has reportedly bought $3bn in shares of bicycle rental platform Ofo from venture firm GSR Ventures at a $10bn valuation, according to reports in China that cite comments made by a relative of GSR managing director Allen Zhu.

E-commerce firm JD.com is looking to raise $2bn for its logistics services spinoff, JD Logstics, with Hillhouse Capital and Sequoia China Capital set to be among the investors.

SoftBank has confirmed it has closed its $1.25bn investment in Uber, which valued the latter at $69bn, as part of a larger primary and secondary transaction that has given it a 15% stake and three board seats at the company.

Go-Jek, the company that has emerged as one of Southeast Asia’s two homegrown ride hailing giants (the other being Grab), continues to attract investors to its latest round, which has a $1.2bn target.

Auto1 Group picked up $565m in funding from SoftBank Vision Fund at a valuation of more than $3.5bn last week, in the fund’s first German investment.

Data centre operator eStruxture has secured a total of $180m in debt and equity financing that will be used to expand its portfolio of Canadian data centres.

Caocao Zhuanche has joined the on-demand ride market with an offering based on a fleet of electric cars supplied by parent Geely.

Autonomous driving already looks likely to be one of 2018’s big magnets for VC funding, and Pony.ai has raised $112m in a huge series A round that included Comcast Ventures.

Bingobox runs a chain of unmanned, automated convenience stores that allow customers to gain access and pay for items using their smartphones.

True Fit, the creator of a personalisation platform for clothing and footwear, has more than doubled its overall funding by closing a $55m series C round that included returning investor Intel Capital.

Chinese gym franchise operator Liking Fit has disclosed $54.4m in funding secured across two rounds, the latter a $46.6m series C that included smart cities technology developer Terminus Technologies.


France-based venture capital firm Ring Capital has launched with €140m ($172m) of capital supplied by limited partners including food producer Danone and insurance provider AG2R La Mondiale.

Logistics group Kuehne + Nagel International has launched a joint investment venture with Singaporean state-owned investment firm Temasek that will back technology logistics and supply chain technology developers.

US-based venture capital fund MathCapital has launched and will operate out of the New York offices of its strategic partner, programmatic marketing technology provider MediaMath.

Insurance group MetLife has launched a co-investment arm called MetLife Digital Ventures backed by a $100m co-investment fund that will make direct investments in strategically relevant startups.

Arizona Bioindustry Association (AzBio), a trade body for the bioscience sector in US state Arizona, has joined two non-profit associations to launch a $200m life science commercialisation fund.


Onlookers are predicting that 2018 could be the year when some of the VC space’s oldest tech startups finally make the leap to the public markets, and SurveyMonkey looks set to be among them.

Another 2018 IPO looks likely to be Innovent Biologics, which has a drug development pipeline that includes treatments for cancer, inflammatory diseases and eye conditions.

Online marketplace Mercari holds the distinction of being Japan’s first unicorn and now, after months of wrangling with the country’s regulators, it appears to be heading to the public markets.

Via Oncology, a US-based cancer care management platform spun out of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), was acquired by Elsevier, the information analytics subsidiary of conglomerate RELX.

Percipient Networks, a US-based internet security subsidiary of commercialisation firm Allied Minds, was acquired by network security company WatchGuard Technologies for an undisclosed sum. Percipient has developed an internet security suite, dubbed Strongarm, that protects clients against malicious websites.

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

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