04 June 2018 – Vision Fund Backs Cruise With Up To $2.25bn


Despite the short week, Ant Financial has really been rather busy, and has reportedly now sealed a $10bn funding round led by GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, that valued it at $150bn, which also makes this, by far, the biggest deal on the government side. To give you an idea of scale, $150bn is more than twice the valuation of Uber at its peak.

Cruise, the autonomous driving software developer acquired by GM for $1bn in early 2016, is the latest company to receive a hefty investment from SoftBank Vision Fund, which has agreed to provide up to $2.25bn in funding.

SenseTime raised $600m in an Alibaba-led series C round just a few weeks ago, and now it’s added $620m in series C+ funding from investors including Qualcomm Ventures.

Ofo and Mobike may be rapidly expanding overseas but Hellobike is proving the Chinese bicycle rental market isn’t just a two-horse race. It raised $700m last month in a series E1 round featuring Ant Financial, and Ant has returned to invest a further $321m in a deal that valued Hellobike at $1.47bn.

Who’d have thought just a few years ago, that a Chinese company would exist that essentially combines cross-border e-commerce with consumer-focused blogging that essentially exists to show off flashy purchases, and that it would be called Little Red Book?

Business payment and invoicing platform Tradeshift has received $250m in a series E round that included HSBC, the bank that had previously invested as part of the company’s last round in 2016.

Taxify has become the latest on-demand ride provider to reach a $1bn valuation, in a $175m round that was led by a $100m investment by Daimler.

SoftBank’s latest portfolio company appears to be car sharing service Getaround. The corporate has invested as part of a round expected to reach $100m that will in turn take Getaround’s total funding to around the $200m mark. The company’s existing investors include SAIC Capital, the corporate venturing arm of carmaker SAIC.

Point-of-sale technology producer Pine Labs has been around almost twice as long as that, but it’s ramped up its fundraising activities this year, raising $125m from PayPal, which will provide access to its technology expertise, and Temasek.

Things were a lot quieter on the university side when it came to deal sizes – Lava Therapeutics, a Netherlands-based immuno-oncology treatment spinout from VU University Medical Center, has raised $18.6m in funding co-led by Gilde Healthcare and Versant Ventures.


Steel and mining company Severstal has formed a corporate venture capital fund called Severstal Ventures that will invest in advanced materials and associated technologies.

Pivotal Bioventure Partners China, a China-based life sciences investment vehicle set up by property development group Nan Fung, has closed its latest fund at $150m.

On Global University Venturing, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is to launch a tech transfer fund with a target size of €40m ($46.3m) alongside limited partners including the Finnish government and the EU-owned European Investment Fund (EIF).

And Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center became the third institution today to form a partnership with drug discovery company Evotec by launching Lab591. The program is also being supported by investment firm Arix Biosciences.


There have been a lot of IPO filings this past week, so here are just some of the bigger ones.

Uxin claims to be the market leader in China’s online used vehicle sector, and it’s filed for a $500m initial public offering in the US.

Smart electric car developer Nio has confidentially filed for a US IPO that could raise about $2bn. Formerly known as NextEV, Nio was last valued at $5bn in a $1bn round that closed last November, and its investors include Lenovo, Tencent, Baidu and JD.com.

Myriad Genetics has agreed to acquire genetic screening service provider Counsyl for $375m in cash and stock, giving an exit to Illumina Ventures.

Payment-processing business Adyen has unveiled plans for an initial public offering (IPO) in Amsterdam in the coming weeks. Among the company’s investors to date are Temasek, the Singapore-backed investment agency, Index Ventures and Iconiq. Adyen has raised around $266m to date.

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

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