15 May 2017 – SoftBank Leads Improbable $502m Investment and Much More

Deals

The $5.5bn round on-demand ride provider Didi Chuxing just confirmed was closed at a $50bn valuation that means it is closing ground with rival Uber in terms of size, and the company has indicated it will use the cash to finally expand globally.

Yixin Group, the online automotive marketplace spinout of motoring e-commerce firm Bitauto, has secured $580m in funding commitments in a round that includes both its parent company and internet group Tencent.

Indonesia-based online media, e-commerce and financial services platform Garena has rebranded itself as Sea and revealed $550m in funding from conglomerates JG Summit Holdings and Uni-President Enterprises.

SoftBank is continuing its investment spree, leading a $502m series B round for Improbable, a UK company developing software that will make the creation of large-scale virtual worlds possible.

SoftBank has also led a $360m round for Guardant Health, the developer of a liquid biopsy test for cancer diagnosis, and will help commercialise Guardant’s technology in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Modernizing Medicine had raised a total of $87m in funding as of the $38m series E round it closed in 2015, but the electronic health record system developer has taken a big jump with a $231m investment by private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

Online payment services provider PayU has invested $120m in digital lending platform lending platform Kreditech as part of a strategic partnership agreement.

There’s been more action in the on-demand transport sector, with Spain-based Cabify having raised $100m from an undisclosed single investor as part of a series D round it aims to close at $500m.

India-based mobile wallet operator MobiKwik is working on its own nine-figure round and is reportedly in talks with BlackRock, Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank over a round that will value it at about $1bn.

Music royalties platform Kobalt has raised $75m in a Hearst Entertainment-led series D round that valued the company at $775m post-money.

Signifyd has secured $56m in an American Express Ventures-backed series C round that increased its overall funding to almost $100m.

Social music app developer Smule has raised $54m in a round led by Tencent that reportedly values it at just over $600m.

Customer data software provider Gainsight has closed a $52m series E round featuring Salesforce Ventures and Cisco Investments that took its overall funding to more than $150m.

We’ve already talked about the biggest government venturing deal with Guardant Health just now, but what about the university venturing world? We haven’t had any mind-blowingly large rounds there this week, but still a few interesting ones – among these is SiFive, a US-based fabless provider of customised semiconductors based on UC Berkeley research, which raised $8.5m in a series B round that included spinout-focused investment firm Osage University Partners.

Funds

Dell has brought its corporate venturing unit, Dell Technologies Capital, out of stealth, revealing a 50-strong portfolio and 27 exits in the past five years.

China has launched a RMB17.8bn ($2.6bn) venture capital fund aimed at startups in industries of strategic importance, such as IT, energy conservation and environmental protection, advanced materials and equipment manufacturing.

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector-focused investment arm of multilateral financial institution World Bank, has agreed to put $10m into the Stellaris Venture Partners India I fund.

BDC Capital, the investment arm of the government-owned Business Development Bank of Canada, injected C$5m ($3.6m) into the StandUp Ventures Fund I.

Exits

Ovid Therapeutics has gone public in a $75m IPO that provided exits for Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures and Takeda, the latter its largest external investor.


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

18 July 2016 – The Power Behind Pokémon Go raises $181m plus more

Investments

Unity, which is the game engine that helped build Pokémon Go, raised $181m in its series C round led by DFJ Growth and including China Investment Corporation – the sovereign wealth fund of the People’s Republic.

A $45m investment for iCarbonX whose shareholders include internet company Tencent, which led a $154m series A round in April 2015.

Naspers led a $30m series C round for online coding school CodeAcademy.

Sapience Therapeutics, a spinout of Columbia University, welcomed Celgene to a $22.5m series A round led by VC firm Eshelmann Ventures.

Funds

IDG Capital Partners, a VC affiliate of media company International Data Group, which closed its latest fund at $1bn.

Mavcap, the Malaysian government-owned venture firm, is looking to raise $250m for three technology funds and is hoping to attract the interest of both domestic and overseas corporates.

Verdane Capital IX, backed by private and public pension funds, university endowments, private foundations, insurance companies and family offices, hit its hard cap of $349m and will put that money into SMEs in Northern Europe.

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, which is reaching full deployment of its current fund Infuse Ventures, backed by International Finance Corporation, BP, the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and its Technology Development Board. To make sure it’ll still have resources available to invest, the institute is now preparing the launch of a $150m vehicle, dubbed Bharat Innovations Fund, which will focus on the areas of healthcare, agriculture and energy.

Exits

Line’s $1.14bn IPO.

Yatra, an India-based online travel booking platform that went public through a reverse merger with US-listed shell company Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corporation in a deal that values it at just $208m.

ZTO Express, a logistics service based in China, is aiming for a US flotation this autumn that could bring in between $1bn and $2bn.

Talend, backed by France’s public investment bank BPIfrance, setting the range for its IPO at $15 to $17 per American Depositary Share.

People

Catherine Dupéré, previously of BDC Capital, joining Isomer Capital.

Richard Holliday meanwhile has joined Oxford spinout Bodle Technologies.

University Ventures with its announcement that it would be hiring Troy Williams and Prateek Aneja while promoting Aanand Radia. Williams will join Radia as MD, joining from publishing house Macmillan Publishers. Aneja will take on the role of vice-president, joining from Wells Fargo Securities.


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