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Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial services arm, is on its way to becoming the most valuable private VC-backed company ever, having reportedly lined up $3bn in a round that is backed by Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek and is expected to close at between $8bn to $9bn at a $150bn valuation, almost doubling the previous high set by Uber in 2016.
That news is almost enough to dwarf reports that another Chinese company, group buying platform Pinduoduo, has raised up to $3bn in a round led by Tencent, the internet group that had previously contributed to its $110m series B round two years ago.
Smart electric vehicle developer Xiaopeng Motors secured $348m in funding as recently as January, in a round co-led by Alibaba, Foxconn and IDG Capital, but according to CEO He Xiaopeng the company intends to raise a total of up to $2.7bn over the course of 2018 in order to beef up R&D, manufacturing capabilities, sales and marketing.
China-based bicycle rental service Hellobike has secured about $700m in series E1 funding from investors including conglomerate Fosun and Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of e-commerce group Alibaba.
SenseTime has raised $600m in an Alibaba-led series C round it claims is the largest ever closed by an artificial intelligence technology developer.
SpaceX, the US-based spacecraft and rocket producer backed by internet and technology group Alphabet, plans to raise $500m of funding at a $23.7bn valuation.
Immuno-oncology drug developer Allogene Therapeutics has launched with $300m in series A financing from investors including Pfizer and University of California’s Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents.
Livongo Health, which has created a platform that helps users deal with chronic health conditions like diabetes and hypertension, has raised $105m in a round featuring corporate venturing units Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Microsoft Ventures, Zaffre Investments and Echo Health Ventures.
Checkr, a background checking service provider backed by internet and technology conglomerate Alphabet, has received $100m in a series C round led by funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price.
Immuno-oncology drug developer Constellation Pharmaceuticals has received $100m in a round featuring GlaxoSmithKline’s SR One unit, increasing its overall equity funding to $229m.
Growth equity firm Conductive Ventures has launched with $100m of capital, all of which has been put up by electronics manufacturer Panasonic.
Unternehmertum Venture Capital (UVC) Partners, the early-stage venture firm affiliated with Technical University of Munich’s tech transfer arm, Unternehmertum, has launched its second fund with more than €82m ($100m) in capital.
Pivotal Software has set the terms for an initial public offering that will net it $530m if it floats at the top of the range.
Another corporate spinout, China-based live game streaming platform Huya, has filed for its own IPO in the US, and has set an initial target of $200m. YY, the social media operator that is Huya’s parent company, still owns 55.5%, while Tencent holds almost 40% after providing about $460m of series B funds for Huya last month.
Secdo, the Israeli developer of a cyber threat detection platform, has agreed to an acquisition by Palo Alto Networks with a $100m price tag, according to Calcalist. RDC, the commercialisation arm of Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, will exit the company through the deal, having co-led its $10m series A round two years ago.
On GUV, C-Sats, healthcare technology spinout from University of Washington, has been acquired by pharmaceutical group Johnson & Johnson for an undisclosed amount.
“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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